Female PI Commander: Women can handle combat

| March 16, 2013

Chief Tango sends us a link to the Washington Post in which Brigadier General Loretta Reynolds, the new female commander of Parris Island Marine Corps training center says she’s confident that women will be able to handle combat. As near as I can figure, the thing that will secure their success in that endeavor is pull ups. Pull ups get a mention three times in the article;

Minimum physical requirements for many hard-core combat jobs had never been established, and the effort to come up with them is still in under way, Reynolds pointed out.

“There’s a lot more work to do to figure it out,” the general said.

The Corps has proposed adapting its twice-yearly physical fitness test to require that women complete at least three chin-ups, a standard that men must currently meet. Data is being collected to see whether the standard is appropriate.

Yeah, three pull ups is the minimum standard – and if it’s appropriate for men, it’s appropriate for women. I had female cadets who came to Advanced Camp and couldn’t do one pull up and seven weeks later, they were doing ten, so the standard is appropriate if anyone has the guts to apply it. Not that doing pull ups are going to make you a natural born killer and help you carry a ruck up and down mountains. I trained the women to do pull ups at Advanced Camp because they were going to jump school where they had to do it to steer their parachutes.

Overseeing one company of female recruits and drill instructors, 1st Sgt. Rena Bruno says she commanded men during a deployment to Iraq. The petite 110-pound veteran of 13-years in uniform said that as a logistics manager, she dealt with dangerous convoy duty and learned “to hold my pistol a little closer to my body.”


And can she do pull-ups?

“Guaranteed, I can get up on a pull bar and knock out eight, very easy for me,” she said.

Well, rat spit, there you go.

And even the 6-foot, fit and trim [Brigadier General Loretta] Reynolds, who played basketball at the Naval Academy and still goes on early morning runs with her recruits, is preparing for the proposed new standards.

“I’m not ashamed to tell you I can’t do a pull-up yet, but I’m working on it!” the 48-year-old Reynolds said with a laugh.

And as soon as she can, all women will be ready for combat. Or something.

Category: Marine Corps, Military issues

Comments (29)

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  1. ComancheDoc says:

    The 18-year-old said she thinks she could serve in a combat zone.“Boot camp has prepared you for everything,” said Martinez. “It’s prepared you mentally, physically, emotionally. Especially with the drill instructors. They do a great job of yelling.”

    …fuck no; grade A derp right there

  2. karlen says:

    That’s called grade a motard

  3. Just an Old Dog says:

    I’ve said it in numerous forums and conversations. Don’t try to compare being in a low intensity combat zone in a support unit with being in a Armored, Artillery or Infantry unit that is in constant contact with a conventional enemy for days or weeks at a time. 3 Pullups? give me a fuggen break. Any grunt who could only do three pull ups would be shit-canned at he first opportunity.

  4. Mike says:

    Are the new moral units in yet?

  5. Ex-PH2 says:

    @2 – Sure it has. How does an instructor yelling at you prepare you for combat? How’s that again?

    The only way you can carry a fully-loaded ruckpack into the field is to load it up, wear it all day long, sleep wearing it, add weight to it every day, and build your upper body strength. The ruckpack weight is on your shoulders and spine, and pulls on your neck muscles.

    Pull-ups will not do it. Period.

    Just one question for the 18-year-old: has she ever been held up at gunpoint by someone who meant to kill her if she didn’t drop her purse on the pavement? Can she tell the difference between someone who intends to kill her, and someone who just maybe might not do so?

    I only ask, because I sincerely doubt that the DIs in MC recruit training actually mean to kill her. That would be a bad thing.

  6. TopGoz says:

    Well, I guess if my beloved Corps is serious about men and women being interchangeable, they can start by eliminating segregated basic training but keep the standards for everyone exactly as they are for those who always could go to combat units – men.
    Female attrition in boot camp would prove very quickly that men and women are not the same.

  7. Instinct says:

    Whomever says that they know they are prepared for combat has either been there, done that and got the t-shirt or rhymes don’t have a fucking clue what they are talking about

  8. James says:

    I can see fighter pilot, possibly some armor, maybe warship. But ground combat does not have power steering, power brakes, power doors, or any other power assisted device. You either can do it or you probably die. If you’re unqualified then you probably die and cause others to die too. There is no changing those facts.

  9. FatCircles0311 says:

    In warfare where the enemy can literally pick their targets at will they are usually intentionally picking units that know aren’t for ground combat. Saw it all the time in Iraq. There is a reason why they are attacking convoys instead of the guys walking through their yard every day.

    “Minimum physical requirements for many hard-core combat jobs had never been established, and the effort to come up with them is still in under way, Reynolds pointed out.”

    Well that’s a bold faced lie. The standards are there for all males whether your 5’5 115lbs or 6’4 220. Males don’t get separate standards they get one which only increases after initial training.

  10. AndyN says:

    Since Reynolds has personal experience with it, someone should ask her why Annapolis still has segregated men’s and women’s basketball teams if women are capable of everything men are. And ask her whether she believes she would have made the team when she was there had there, and whether she honestly believes she could have made a real contribution competing physically against men. Then ask her why she thinks women will have any better luck competing against men who are trying to kill them.

  11. MCPO NYC USN (Ret.) says:

    She ment to say “chin ups” cut her some slack!

  12. Yoshi says:

    @2, someone actually said that? lol…

  13. SGT Ted says:

    The females are so stoned on the physical double standard that allows them to do less, they don’t even realize that if there were no double standard, many of them wouldn’t even be in the service.

  14. Howiver, I’m not denyin’ the women are foolish: God Almighty made ’em to match the men. ~George Eliot, “The Harvest Supper,” Adam Bede

  15. SGT Ted says:

    #11 Perfect critique of the “they are just as good as the men” assertion.

  16. NR Pax says:

    When I was in MOS school, I had a couple of classmates that went through PI. To say they had contempt for the female Marines during MCT (Combat training for non-Infantry Marines) was a polite understatement. While the women did go out in the field, they were allowed weekends off and stayed in the hotels around Lejeune.

    And I’m willing to bet that it would stay that way if they pushed for Infantry integration. But hey, let them try. Let them go through the exact same things that the men do. If they can pass without special treatment, and they can survive the demands of it then they can do the job.

  17. ohio says:

    Notice how she has not been on the ground in combat, big dfference being in command in a safe zone.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Well, rat spit, there you go.

    +10 for the Heartbreak Ridge reference. 😉

  19. Stacy0311 says:

    You know, I can’t count the times I was humping a ruck on a MCCRES or around Pendleton’s scenic hills, the bush in the Phillipines or Okinawa, Kuwait (ok, granted we had tracks-potty breaks are another story), Mogadishu or some other lovely 3rd world shithole and said to myself “Self, you know it’s a damn good thing you can do 3 pull ups. Otherwise you’d be totally hosed along with everybody else in this squad.”
    /sarc off\

  20. ComancheDoc says:

    @Yoshi- its a ctrl c/v straight from the article…

  21. RayRaytheSBS says:

    Oh yeah, I’m sure that those three Pull ups will help them make it out to the flight line with their rucksack weighing in at 110+ lbs along with a parachute on their back for their airborne operation as Marine Force Recon. I’ve seen what that looks like on the Army side, and it’s not pretty. Try and do your 3 pullups while basically carrying your own bodyweight, then I’ll be impressed.

  22. NHSparky says:

    “Boot camp has prepared you for everything,”

    Um, yeah, no.

  23. Rerun0369 says:

    I just want to point out the 13 year 1stSgt. WTF?

  24. RetE7AFSarge says:


    Certainly plausible…

  25. DaveO says:

    Say it with me: CMC Loretta Reynolds

  26. Green Thumb says:


  27. PhillyandBCEagles says:

    @11, better yet–since women are just as physically capable of men, beginning this fall the USMA, USNA, and USAFA football teams will be required to have two women on the field at all times. The teams they play (other than one another) will be under no such mandate. Only fair, right?

  28. 13 Year First Sgt? ….. Fastest I ever seen it happen was 16 Years, This guy was MSG and had a stellar Tour as a DI.