Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Female Pushup Standards in the Army

When the roles suitable for women in the military are discussed, pushup standards are often a point of debate. The pushup standards are quite a bit lower for women than for men. I personally think this factor is over-rated and mis-interpreted.

We should first ask ourselves--is push-up capability a Bona-Fide Occupational Qualification (aka, BFQ)? Or is it, like a college degree, more of a proxy or marker for some more general indicators of suitability? I would submit, for 90+% of military assignments, it is the latter. Being able to do a goodly number of pushups is an indicator of:
  • general physical fitness
  • discipline (maintaining one's fitness)
  • mental toughness
All of  which are important in the military environment, much more so than the absolute number of pushups a soldier can perform.

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