Since all combat roles are open to women, the Marines have changed the height and weight requirements for female members. Now, women can be five to seven pounds heaver per inch, so they can actually have some muscle. Commander General Robert Neller told The Washington Post he hears female Marines complain all the time that they’re lifting and beefing up but are over the weight requirement, which is sort of BS. At least it’s a little bit better now.
The weight limits are about having and maintaining a healthy amount of body fat and being physically fit. (It’s also probably about uniform requirements, too.) A 5-foot-6 woman, for example, used to only be allowed to weigh up to 155 pounds, but now she can be 161 pounds. Likewise, 5-foot-9 woman used to only be allowed to get up to 169, but now she can weigh 176. Men’s weight limits vary, too. A 5-foot-9 man can be 186, for example, but they usually have room for an extra ten pounds more than their female counterparts. It’s not fair to open up combat jobs and ask female Marines to bulk up only to have them go over the maximum weight because they’re building muscle.
Neller told The Post, “We will monitor the effects of these adjustments for two years and then adjust if required to ensure our standards continue to contribute to the effectiveness of our force and enhance our ability to respond when our nation calls.”
They also changed the fitness test so that every Marine will do the same exercises. The physical fitness test is comprised of pull-ups, crunches, and a three-mile run, but women had the option of this modified version called a flex arm hang, which you might remember from elementary school, where you wrap your arms around the bar and hang there, instead of a straight pull-up. But now they’re just going to do push-ups all around, instead of modifying the exercise. Women and men can only get a top score on the test if they choose to do the pull-up, though.
And of course they are. Major General James W. Lukeman, the commanding general of Marine Corps Training and Education Command said in a statement that the new requirements mean the demands are a little higher. And that means Marine Corps members are going to be a little heftier. “Bigger and stronger often means heavier, so tying performance on the PFT and CFT to changes to the Body Composition Program are improvements that we think the Marines will appreciate,” he said. Only Marines would be appreciative of higher physical demands.
I don’t know about you, but I want my Marines to be tough as shit.
The new changes further prove that the Marines are actually getting tougher to jerks who were scared that letting women into combat would somehow “water down” the whole organization. In fact, even former presidential candidate Ben Carson said, “If you look at the population demographics, most women… cannot properly carry a 230-pound soldier—with a rucksack and combat vest on.” He added that there were “certain realities” about what men and women can do.
But that’s all complete bullshit. Instead of getting wimpy, Marines — male and female — are getting tougher. So there.
Original by Karen Fratti @karenfratti