The Marine Corps has postponed changing its physical fitness test (PFT) to include a pull-up requirement for female Marines.
The new test, which was scheduled to begin on Jan. 1, would have required women to do a minimum of three pull-ups instead of the flexed arm hang as part of their annual PFT. In November, the Marine Corps announced the change would be delayed because it required further assessment.
Although officials said putting the new standard into effect was medically safe, they were concerned about the risk of losing recruits and women already in the service, a Marine Corps spokesperson told the Associated Press last week. The revised PFT was tested on female recruits at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in Parris Island, SC, but only 45 percent of women were able to meet the three pull-up minimum, the spokesperson said.
Changes to the test began in January 2013 when women were given the option to take the PFT doing either a flex armed hang or pull-ups. Passing the test requires a flexed arm hang of 15 seconds or three pull-ups. A perfect score requires a 70-second flexed arm hang or eight pull-ups.
A new date for the test change has not yet been announced. Women can continue to take either version of the test, although a statement from Marine Public Affairs encouraged women "to continue training under the assumption that pull-ups will remain a standard measure of physical fitness."
The transition is part of a Department of Defense initiative to remove gender-based standards and open combat jobs to women across all military branches by 2016.