The U.S. Army’s transition to a genderless fitness test appears to have backfired. We can file this one under “extremely predictable.”
According to a Military.com report, “early data shows nearly half of female soldiers can’t pass the test and might face being removed from service once it becomes official next year.”
The Army is now considering a return to gender-specific fitness standards.
The new Army Combat Fitness Test goes all out on gender equality, leveling the playing field and measuring women on the same scale as their male counterparts.
Of course, this effort to treat men and women as physical equals has only shown how different they actually are.
Forty-four percent of women have failed the ACFT, compared to 7 percent of men. Only 66 female soldiers have scored a 500 out of a perfect 600 since October; 31,978 men have done so.
“Female soldiers continue to lag male soldier scores in all events,” according to a United States Army Forces Command briefing obtained by Military.com.
So much for equality.
If officially adopted, the uniform standards would prevent women from advancing through the ranks as readily as men, as physical fitness scores are “heavily considered” in promotions, according to Military.com.
High scores also open up opportunities to attend special training like the Army’s Air Assault and Ranger schools.
It’s clear that by “liberating” women from unequal gender standards, the Army is only holding them back.
Army officials testifying before a House Appropriations Committee subpanel meeting last month proposed a solution to this dilemma: separating scores by gender so that men and women are not compared to each other.
“For example, the record could show the soldier was in the top 10% of fitness ability among their gender across the Army,” Military.com reported.
Our leaders should be applauded for managing to reach this blindingly obvious conclusion by committee.
Holding men and women to the same physical standards is simply unfair.
Fortunately, ACFT scores won’t become official until March 2022, so the Army could make changes to the test before then.
We’ve known it all along: Males and females are not interchangeable.
The Army’s failed experiment only reinforces this truth.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.