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Fitness plan for females put on hold by Marines as more than half fail

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The Marine Corps. has announce plans to delay its requirement that all female marines must be able to perform at least three pull-ups during their annual physical fitness tests this year after more than half of them failed. Three pull-ups is the same minimum amount for men.

According to Marine Corps commandant Gen. James Amos, the Corps had “hoped to institute pull-ups on the belief that they require the muscular strength necessary for activities such as scaling walls and climbing up ropes, as well as being able to tote heavy munitions.”

However, the high failure rate among the women in service has re-opened the debate about whether women possess the physical strength for certain military duties. It has also raised questions about how the Marines can “provide females with the best opportunities to succeed,” added spokeswoman Capt. Maureen Krebs., while Defense Department spokesman Navy Lt. Cmdr Nathan Christensen stated that top brass has been working to “update physical standards, training, education and other programs for thousands of jobs they must open Jan. 1, 2016.”

“While they must open as many jobs to women as possible; if they decide to keep some closed, they must explain why,” he noted.

Although official records state that President Teddy Roosevelt first instigated physical fitness tests for the Marines in 1908 (mandating staff officers ride 90 miles on horseback and line officers walk 50 miles over a three-day period to pass.) Tests for men including chin-ups, push-ups, broad jump, 50-yard duck waddle and running were not introduced until 1956. The first physical fitness test for women, however. Did not begin until 1969. This included a 600-yard run/walk, sit-ups, a 120-yard shuttle run, vertical jump, and knee push-ups.

From The Detroit News: