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.