April 30, 2021

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Army’s first female infantry officer says lowering fitness standards for women would put ‘mission at risk’

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Army's first female infantry officer says lowering fitness standards for women would put 'mission at risk'

The woman who turned the Army’s first female infantry officer is now speaking out against lowering fitness standards for females in a test that evaluates troops’ beat readiness, arguing that doing so would “not only undermine their credibility, but also spot these gals, their teammates and the mission at hazard.” 

The responses from Capt. Kristen Griest, an Army Ranger School graduate, come following reports this thirty day period that the U.S. Army is thinking about revamping the way it scores its new Army Overcome Conditioning Test (ACFT) to account for the biological differences involving adult males and ladies. 

Accomplishing so would stray absent from the Army’s initial plan for the six-celebration test to be entirely gender neutral, Navy.com reported.

“While it may possibly be tricky for a 120-pound female to carry or drag 250 lbs ., the Army can’t artificially absolve ladies of that accountability it might nevertheless exist on the battlefield,” Griest wrote in an essay published Thursday by the Present day War Institute at West Place. “The entire goal of making a gender-neutral exam was to admit the actuality that each individual occupation has aim actual physical expectations to which all troopers really should be held, regardless of gender. 

Capt. Kristen Griest smiles at the audience gathered during the graduation ceremony of the United States Army's Ranger School on August 21, 2015 at Fort Benning, Ga. (Getty Images)

Capt. Kristen Griest smiles at the audience gathered throughout the graduation ceremony of the United States Army’s Ranger College on August 21, 2015 at Fort Benning, Ga. (Getty Visuals)
(Jessica McGowan/Getty Photographs)


“The intent was not to make sure that gals and gentlemen will have an equivalent probability of conference people criteria. Instead, it is incumbent on ladies who volunteer for the beat arms job to assure they are totally able and experienced for it,” she continued. “To not have to have girls to meet equal benchmarks in battle arms will not only undermine their credibility, but also spot these females, their teammates, and the mission at possibility.” 

Griest also wrote that “underneath a gender-based mostly system, females in beat arms have to fight every single working day to dispel the idea that their existence inherently weakens these previously all-male models.” 

“Decrease woman criteria also strengthen the belief that women are not able to execute the identical job as adult males, for that reason building it complicated for gals to make the rely on and self-assurance of their teammates,” she included. 

The ACFT is currently being implemented to replace the older Army Physical Physical fitness Test (APFT), which scored troops primarily based on age and gender, Stars and Stripes reported. But its re-evaluation now comes soon after Congress delayed the ACFT’s rollout more than concerns it unfairly deprived female soldiers, the report famous. 

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“We are addressing these problems in coordination with Army senior leaders, Congress, and with people it impacts the most, our American troopers,” Lt. Col. Peggy Kageleiry, a spokeswoman for the Army’s Center for First Army Education, instructed Stars and Stripes. 

Sgt. Big of the Army Michael Grinston states the review is envisioned to be concluded by the finish of the year, in accordance to Army.com. The website described that all active-responsibility, National Guard and Reserve soldiers have been requested to choose the ACFT due to the fact October 2020, but scores will not depend towards them until finally March 2022. 

“As the Army’s 1st woman infantry officer, I have extended awaited the elimination of a gender-primarily based health and fitness examination,” Griest wrote. “The significantly reduced woman standards of the old Army Actual physical Conditioning Test (APFT) not only jeopardized mission readiness in battle units but also bolstered the false idea that girls are categorically incapable of carrying out the exact work as gentlemen.  

“The new Army Combat Fitness Check (ACFT) promised to reduce these problems by ultimately examining women of all ages on the identical exercise scale as guys and setting minimal bodily standards based mostly on branch necessities fairly than gender,” she additional, though also noting that “thanks to an preliminary ACFT fall short charge of 54 per cent among women of all ages, activist teams have lifted issues that the exam will drawback woman servicemembers.” 

In 2016, Griest — one particular of two females who graduated from the Army’s Ranger School the yr prior — became the first woman named as an infantry officer. 

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In August 2015, Griest and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver graduated as Military Rangers, ending its six-decade history as an all-male institution. 

Fox News attained out to Griest, the Army’s Centre for Initial Armed forces Schooling and the U.S. Military for further more comment.

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