The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Opinion

January 5, 2014

Standards should be equal, especially with the military

— Someone who can’t do three pullups should not be a Marine.

That’s the minimum according to an Associated Press story found on Page 8A.

The story says more than half the female Marines in boot camp can’t do three pullups, the minimum standard that was supposed to take effect with the new year.

This was part of the process of “equalizing” physical standards as the military moves toward increasing the combat role for women. Female Marines are supposed to be able to do at least three pullups on their annual physical fitness test; if they do eight, they receive  a perfect score. Male Marines, meanwhile, need to do 20 for a perfect score.

But, the women get a second choice: They can hang — a flexed-arm hang — for at least 15 seconds. If they do 70 seconds, they get a perfect score.

Male Marines don’t have that alternative in their fitness test.

This is not an equal pay for equal work issue.

If two people have the same job with the same amount of experience then they should be paid the same.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t compare with having to carry equipment and ammo — and sometimes a fallen comrade — over Godforsaken terrain under unimaginable conditions.

There should not be an “equalizing” of physical standards in the armed forces. Minimum standards, are acceptable of course, but those must be met by everyone.

We can’t afford a “dumbing down” of the military.

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