Analysis of the pull-up requirement in the U.S. Marine Corps physical fitness test for female Marines
Ryan, Sherel L.
Eitelberg, Mark J.
Seagren, Chad W.
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The Marine Corps Physical Fitness Test (PFT) dates back to the 1950s. In its current state, it is said to evaluate all Marines' general fitness levels in the areas of strength, endurance, and mobility. In November 2012, the commandant of the Marine Corps directed that the PFT for female Marines be changed, effective January 2014, to replace the flexed-arm hang with pull-ups. This study is fact-finding and seeks to evaluate the PFT policy change for female Marines. It analyzes how well the Marine Corps prepared for and executed this change in terms of expectations and in preparing female Marines for success, as well as in anticipating second- and third-order effects of the new PFT requirement within the eastern recruiting region (ERR). Data-gathering for this phase included a survey of Marines in the ERR and interviews with civilian fitness experts. Additionally, the study compares and contrasts the policy change with federal fitness guidelines, state-run occupational fitness standards, and implementation of the Marine Corps Combat Fitness Test in 2008. The study also evaluates the training program published by Headquarters Marine Corps for females to build their upper-body strength. The study highlights certain consequences of the policy change and recommends further research.
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