Almost completely ignored by the American news media, a very hush-hush blow was delivered to social engineers as the Marine Corps very quietly announced that the scheduled change in physical strength requirements for women would be delayed for at least a year, as reported by the right-of-center Cybercast News Service (CNSNews.com) and the left-of-center National Public Radio news (NPR), both on Dec. 27, 2013.
Never held to task to perform dead hang pull-ups as men are required as part of the Marine Corps PFT (Physical Fitness Test), women were scheduled as of Jan. 1, 2014 to successfully execute three dead hand (no body momentum) pull-ups as part of the three event strength and endurance test.
Marine Corps spokesman Captain Eric Flanagan flatly stated, "women aren't able to make the minimum standard of three pull-ups."
It was further cited by CNSNews.com that upon completion of Marine Corps Boot Camp, a full fifty-five percent of female recruits were unable to do three pull-ups, whereas 1 percent of male recruits failed.
The 1 percent of the men who failed were "recycled" (sent back) in the recruit training cycle in the effort to strengthen both mind and body.
Per Marine Corps regulations, any Marine regardless of rank who fails the PFT twice will face an "AdSep" removal from the Corps, usually a discharge classified as General under Honorable Conditions, which is technically one step below an Honorable Discharge.
While NPR attempted to get an official statement from the Marine Corps recorded, "Marine officers would not talk to NPR on tape."
NPR went on to publish, "They said they delayed the pullup requirement to avoid losing not only recruits but also current [active duty] female Marines who can't pass the test."
The Myth of a Nintendo Military...
While many in American society believe that raw physical strength has gone the way of chain mail and armor due to advancements in technology, the Marines still adhere to the notion that victory on the battlefield isn't quite as antiseptic as unisex theorists proclaim.
Case in point would be the Marine Corps continual combat training with edged weapons.
While most NATO armies dismissed bayonets as little more than glorified openers for hard plastic MRE containers, Marines have found them invaluable in Iraq and Afghanistan, especially in the close quarters battle the found in the bloody house-to-house, room-to-room and knife to flesh fighting they won during the battle of Fallujah, Iraq.
As cited by the University of Tennessee at Knoxville:
Marines know how to use their bayonets. Army bayonets may as well be paper-weights.