Being a Member of the US Combat Force Has Never Been More Fun

If you're preparing to join the U.S. Army in the near future, you'll be subject to one or the other set of standards according to whether you're female or male. The all-new Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) was launched. What's new? Gender-based scoring guidelines. Do you have a grenade at the front of the battle? You can throw it as a girl. You will have scored if you return to base. The final version of the exam is scheduled to go live on April 1, with their scores not affecting soldiers’ performance, but how they are graded could result in consequences ranging from promotion to removal from the Army up to October. 1. However, the Army will not be able to immediately remove those who fail the test. The part-time National Guard and Reserve soldiers will have until April 2023 to ensure that their scores are added to their official records.

The ACFT includes six events: Maximum Deadlift, Standing Power Throw, Hand Release Pushups, Sprint/Drag/Carry, Leg Tuck, and Two-Mile Run. 

Much more has evolved than the exercise routine: It is no longer intended to train soldiers to fight but rather be an overall fitness test.

In the context of the brand-new paradigm, the standards will meet the participants rather than the other way around. It will have different scoring standards for men and women from different age groups, and in many cases, they are lower, as discovered in a congressionally mandated report by Rand Corp, a Washington D.C.-based think tank: Nearly 50 percent of women in the organization did not meet the previous requirements for the test.

The essentials: Female soldiers between the ages of 17 and 21 years old must now be able to deadlift anywhere between 120 and 210 pounds, while a male soldier is required to pull between 140 and 340 pounds. For the same age group, female soldiers must run two miles between 23:22 and 15:29, whereas male soldiers have to complete the exercise between 22 and 13:22 minutes. This minimum time for male soldiers is one minute more than the previous ACFT model, which the Army tried before, based on research showing the run is the trickiest for both genders.

Leg tucks have been removed as a way to gauge core strength and planks are in their place. Testers were worried that the leg tuck not only measures core strength but also requires soldiers to put much of their energy on grip strength and upper body strength. “If I don't have the grip strength, but have the core strength, I can't do a leg tuck,” Sergeant Major in the Army Michael Grinston said. “That was the reason for taking that out; we wanted to measure core strength.”

In the past, the military had strict standards, and only strong individuals could join and thus perform well on the battlefield. However, today we're being taught that something other than individual achievement is what makes us suited to destroy people and damage things.

From Pentagon Secretary of State John Kirby: “Obviously, we take the need to promote diversity and inclusion seriously here in the department. The secretary has spoken to that many times.”

In the words of Air Force Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower, Personnel, and Services Gwendolyn DeFillippi: “With the addition of [the Indigenous Nations Equality Team, or INET, and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer/Questioning Initiative Team, otherwise known as LIT], we will have a better understanding of barriers to service which allows us to enhance our diversity and inclusion. Our Airmen and Guardians are the pulse of our Department's culture and [have] diverse backgrounds. Inputs from these volunteer groups [are] vital.”

Then courtesy of Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning: “Striving to engender greater diversity in our force is too important to the Army's effectiveness to avoid continuous self-examination… Engendering greater diversity and inclusivity is not social experimentation; it is in fact a dynamic that has often been at the center of the Army's success.”

A quote from the Senior Advisor of the U.S. Secretary of Defense on Human Capital and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Bishop Garrison: “I would hope that as many leaders and members of the total force as possible see [diversity, equity and inclusion] efforts as a force multiplier.”

Also, Military in Motion: U.S. Navy Adds Antiracist Books to Its Official Reading List; History-Making Defense Secretary Hails More History: To Support Transgenderism in the Military; Be Everything You Are: U.S. Army Announces the Acceptance of Lipstick and Nail Polish and a Better Breastfeeding Experience; Change in Policy Allows Transgender Soldiers to Serve Openly.

Returning to the ACFT, the old three-event version (consisting of sit-ups, push-ups, and a two-mile run) was first introduced in 1984. In 2015, the cavalry and infantry were open to women. But the process was not done in a fair way. Researchers at Rand Corp. have found that just 52 percent of active-duty enlisted women passed the test, against 92 percent of men in the congressionally mandated study, which was released on Wednesday. Just 42 percent of women in the National Guard and 41 percent of women in the Reserve were able to get through.

In the spirit of fairness, we can assume we’re currently in discussions with other nations and terrorist groups to establish an arrangement where in the event of any physical-demanding fight, they'll just have their girls paired with ours and leave the men on both sides out of it.

It must be okay to admit females who aren't able to stand up to the standards that, in the midst of combat, have not prevented the deaths of even the fittest males in the military. There's no reason to believe that the Powers That Be are planning to put women in danger or risk…

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