My mom is the smartest person I know, and she had this to say about the fitness standards in the military:
When you talk about women needing to meet the same standards as the men, perhaps the issue is that we sometimes confuse the standard with the means of achieving it. Take the marines and their pull-ups. Why does a female marine have to do a pull up or whatever number of pull ups will be the magic number? Does she really have to have equivalent upper body strength as a man to meet the standards of her job? Do she really have to be able to do x number of pull-ups to carry her gear and maintain stamina and fire her weapon? Is the method of measuring fitness appropriate for women or is it requiring an otherwise competent marine to be a physical anomaly just to meet an unreasonable standard of so-called fitness. Test women on the performance of their duties, not just a brute strength or running speed equivalent to a man.
“You just have to get over the wall” – Brenda “Sue” Fulton, graduate of West Point’s Class of 1980, the first Academy class to include women