"Does it really have to be that high?"
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, admitted that if women cannot pass the stringent requirements of serving in Combat Arms MOSs (Military Occupational Specialties), then the Armed Forces will have to ask itself if the standards "really have to be that high," as reported by CNSNews.com on Jan. 25, 2013.
In a joint press conference with Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta that announced that women would no longer be excluded from direct combat roles, such as infantry, tanks and artillery, Army General Martin Dempsey was asked by NBC reporter Jim Miklaszewski: (video, lower left)
"You indicated that -- well, at least it sounds like that there may be certain combat operational forays that women might be excluded from still.
I mean, what would be the reasons for that?
What sorts of operations?"
"No, I wouldn't put it in terms of operations, Jim.
What I would say is that, as we look at the requirements for a spectrum of conflict, not just COIN, counterinsurgency, we really need to have standards that apply across all of those."
The Army leader went on to state:
"Importantly, though, if we do decide that a particular standard is so high that a woman couldn't make it, the burden is now on the service to come back and explain to the secretary, why is it that high?
Does it really have to be that high?
With the direct combat exclusion provision in place, we never had to have that conversation."
Institutional Favoritism Already In Place...
The Marine Corps has recently instituted a change to the Physical Fitness Test whereas women Marines will no longer be exempt from performing pull-ups as part of the test.
As directed by the Commandant of the Marine Corps, women have but to execute 8 pull-ups to receive a perfect score of 100. Men still have to execute 20 pull-ups for a perfect 100 points.
Both men and women Marines must perform 100 abdominal "crunches" within 2 minutes in order to receive a perfect 100 point score.
However, men must complete the three-mile run 3 minutes faster than women (18 minutes vice 21 minutes) in order to receive the 100 points for a perfect score.
According to Marine Corps Order 6100.13 W/CH 1:
"Marines who are not Physically fit are a detriment and detract from the combat readiness of their unit."
In a report from the Government Accounting Office, the Army's Physical Fitness Test also has a gender disparity in favor of women over men;
"Because of physiological differences, both the Army’s and the Academy’s physical fitness test standards are different for men and women.
For example, to receive ascore of 90 on the push-up event, men must perform 72 push-ups in 2 minutes; women must do 48.
To receive a score of 90 in the sit-up event, men must do 82 and women must do 84 in a 2-minute period.
To receive a score of 90 on the 2-mile run, men must achieve a time of 12 minutes and 57 seconds; women must achieve the same distance in 15 minutes and 54 seconds."
The 1/3d Pure Fat Navy SEAL...?
The Navy also has a marked difference in passing scores for their male vs. female fitness scorings, but what could be described as disturbing, is the amount of body fat allowable within the U.S. Navy:
Male Body Fat Standards:
Age 17 - 39: Max of 22% body fat
Age 40 and over: Max of 23% body fat
Female Body Fat Standards:
Age 17 - 39: Max of 33% body fat
Age 40 and over: Max of 34% body fat
It's commonplace in all Branches of the Armed Forces for women to outscore men in physical fitness examinations, yet in reality remain physically weaker and thusly be promoted ahead them.
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