Army Changing Attitude On ‘Gender-Neutral Physical Test’

The United States Army is talking about doing away with its new “gender-neutral physical test” after the result of the test has shown that while over 90% of men passed, the majority of women failed. Due to physiological differences, officials are reportedly thinking about having different evaluation categories for men and women.

“Research showed that the Army Combat Fitness Test [ACFT], which is the same for male and female soldiers, was leading to lower results for women with a knock-on effect for promotions,” The Telegraph stated. “An early Pentagon study showed that women were failing the ACFT at a rate of 65 percent, while only 10 percent of men did.”

Further cementing this, a report from this past fall stated that 7%of men failed their test, while close to 54% of women failed. The report also stated that the Democrat-controlled Congress stopped the new program from being implements and that the army is currently looking into whether it is fair. Congress does not want the test as it currently exists to be a factor in opportunities for promotion.

“In the ACFT there are six events – the maximum deadlift, a standing power throw, hand-release push-ups, a sprint, drag and carry, leg tuck, and a two-mile run,” the report continued. “To pass the test those taking it must score at least 360 points out of a possible 600, and those who achieve higher scores are more likely to be promoted. However, average scores for women so far are said to have been 100 points lower.”

The report stated that officials were to be expected to change the way that at least one of the exercises could be completed, which they thought improved women’s test scores.

Congress has, also, now declared that the test in its current state should not be a determining factor in deciding whether a person gets promoted or not. Officials were also thinking about whether to use “gender-specific” percentile groupings when it came down to reviewing promotions.

“All they are going to see for evaluation is which percentile the soldier falls into,” an Army official told Military.com last month. “The gender identity will not be included in that information. If anything, it’s a more gender-neutral assessment process because it doesn’t show the raw scores.”

Captain Kristen Griest, the Army’s first female infantry officer, wrote last month that “lowering fitness standards to accommodate women will hurt the Army–and women.”

Griest stated that the implementing of “gender-based scoring” or reducing “the minimum standards for combat arms” would “have both immediate and insidious impacts on combat effectiveness, as well as on women’s credibility and potential.”

“The entire purpose of creating a gender-neutral test was to acknowledge the reality that each job has objective physical standards to which all soldiers should be held, regardless of gender,”

“The entire purpose of creating a gender-neutral test was to acknowledge the reality that each job has objective physical standards to which all soldiers should be held, regardless of gender,” she wrote. “The intent was not to ensure that women and men will have an equal likelihood of meeting those standards. Rather, it is incumbent upon women who volunteer for the combat arms profession to ensure they are fully capable and qualified for it. To not require women to meet equal standards in combat arms will not only undermine their credibility, but also place those women, their teammates, and the mission at risk.”

 

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