The first 15 female Marines volunteering for infantry training showed up at Marine Corps Base Camp Geiger in North Carolina less than two weeks ago.
Before even starting the course, the women have to complete a Physical Fitness Test (PFT), Combat Fitness Test (CFT) and the beastly High Intensity Tactical Training (HITT) assessment, all with the men’s scoring.
Then comes another 3-months of gruelling mental and physical tests.
To start, students must complete a PFT: a timed 3-mile run, timed crunches, and pull ups …
Once you complete that test you move on to the CFT, which is basically a combination of sprint, ammo-can lift, and a circuit, all designed to test a Marines anaerobic fitness …
Here’s an infographic with the complete breakdown of the CFT:
Last but not least, they have to complete the HITT, which measures “superior speed, power, strength endurance and overall combat readiness while reducing the likelihood of injury” according to the U.S. Marines Fitness Guide.
The HITT is another combination of power and agility exercises, not unlike Cross Fit.
If that’s not enough they also have to complete a 3-mile hike while wearing all their combat gear. The rucksack, M16 rifle, body armour, helmet and boots have a combined weight of about 80 to 110 pounds.
Since the female students are participating in the training as part of a voluntary pilot program, they can elect to quit at any time. Therefore, if any of these women complete the course they will not earn infantry designation. Instead, they will go on to another job school.
The Marine Corps plans to send more female Marines through this pilot course within the next year. The goal is to analyse if women are capable of passing the existing standards that are designed for men.
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