Three pull-ups? A 12.5-mile march with a 90-pound pack? No push-ups? Geez. I think they must have lowered the standards while no one was looking. When I was in high school, our gym teacher was a former DI. Every year, he had his classes do the Marine Corps Physical Fitness Test. We didn’t do the 3-mile run; everything was indoors. But I’m pretty sure if we had done the run we’d have had to complete it within 18 minutes rather than 21 minutes to score 100%. We did do the push-ups, which are apparently no longer part of the test, and we did do a timed rope climb, which is also no longer part of the test. I remember the numbers necessary to get 100% on the test, because that’s what I scored. You needed to do 114 sit-ups within two minutes, 70 push-ups within two minutes, and 20 pull-ups, with no time limit. I think three pull-ups would have scored me about a D-, if not an F+.
I’m not slamming the young women mentioned in the article. I’m sure they’re in extraordinarily good shape. And I don’t doubt that they’re very, very strong. For women. In a relative sense, I’m sure these young women are in as good or better shape than the young men they’re competing with. But combat isn’t relative, it’s absolute. If you need to carry a heavy machine gun and ammunition cases, they don’t get any lighter just because it’s a woman carrying them. And if you need to pick up and carry a wounded buddy, he doesn’t get any lighter just because it’s a woman carrying him. For those and other reasons, women don’t belong in the infantry. Only men–and only young men, at that–belong in the infantry. Women and older men are suitable to be garrison and support troops, but not front-line infantry.