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By Valerie Mcallister
The United States Military prides itself on possessing many characteristics, including its use of tactics, size and most importantly to its ever increasing strength. As with any country’s military force, strength is of the utmost importance. In general, large organizations hold standards individuals must reach. The military is no exception. Being that the U.S. branches of service pride themselves in their strength, these standards are crucial to obtaining a functional work force.
In 2013, women were given the right to serve in combat war zones, where men previously fought alone.
This led to the question of if women service members are capable of doing a “man’s job”.
Due in part to the backlash of this seemingly unfair and sexist outlook, standards for men and women service members became nearly equal.
Men and women should be held to the same physical standards when it comes to a physical job. The pull-up test, used commonly in the Army and Marine branches, is a physical fitness test which measures the amount of pull-ups a soldier can perform before falling off of the pull-up bar.
Biologically speaking, men, in general, are physically stronger than women, due to more muscle mass. So should the standards be equal for different sexes if they are impossible for women to obtain? “I believe both sexes should be held to the same standard, as you may be aware of the fact that now women are allowed in the infantry, which used to be strictly males,” according to George Dial, a freshman ROTC cadet at APSU.
If women choose to serve in combat infantry situations, the standards for them should be equal to those of their male counterparts.
“With the downsizing of the Army,” said Alexis Eldridge, sophomore ROTC cadet.
“I think there should be an equal strength standard for both men and women. Men by nature are presumed to be stronger than women; however, women should still be able to do a strength test based off of their body weight just the same as men. So women should be able to reach the same standard as males in strength events such as pull-ups.”
Both genders must be physically capable of lifting and firing machinery and transporting it long distances. Sensibly enough, when one chooses to accept a duty, he or she must accept the standards held. Priding oneself on strength means weeding out the ones who aren’t up to par.
Men may be able to do more pull-ups than women. However, there should be an across-the-board standard that requires the same number of pull-ups for both genders. There will always be those who can perform more than others, but there should be a minimum singular requirement.
Perhaps a pull-up test is not an accurate way to measure one’s physical ability. Since men and women have to carry the same amount of equipment and machinery, a fair test of physical strength may be walking or running with the equipment, as commonly done by service members.
Since both genders are required to carry the same amount of weight, being able to pull yourself up on a bar may not measure accurately your ability to carry, run and shoot. Women have slowly gained their rights throughout history, but not without a fight. Just as with the right to vote and right to fair pay, women deserve the right to serve their country. However, no one person should have physical exceptions made when it comes to building a strong military force. TAS