Army secretary nominee worries combat fitness test will push women out of service

Pfc. Llasmin Martinez, an automated logistical specialist from 1st Battalion, 43d Air Defense...
Pfc. Llasmin Martinez, an automated logistical specialist from 1st Battalion, 43d Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 11th ADA Brigade, perform the strength deadlift during the Army Combat Fitness Test January 27, 2020 at Stout Field on Fort Bliss.(Sgt. LaShawna Custom | 32nd Army Air and Missile Defens)
Updated: May. 19, 2021 at 9:07 PM CDT
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FORT HOOD, Texas (KWTX) - Ever since recent data that showed more than 40% of women are failing the new Army Combat Fitness Test, the ACFT, Secretary Nominee Christine Wormuth is calling for a change to the test.

The Army revamped the test last year, adding in exercises that are more catered to situations in combat, but quickly decided not to make the test a mandatory pass because of COVID-19.

Right now, scores on the test don’t count against soldiers, but Secretary Wormuth worries that once they do, scores of women will leave the service.

Army Veteran and Sociologist Michelle Dietert doesn’t agree. She says joining the military was not an easy task, but she proved herself before and after her Army career.

“I think it’s just a matter of training and I think women will rise to the occasion,” she said.

“I do believe that any soldiers should be trained physically, regardless of their MOS and what they’re going to do. So, in my opinion, it’s not about lowering the standards, it’s more about trying to find a way to train women to rise to that.”

The Army continues to encourage all their soldiers to take the test so that more data can be collected and updates can be made in the future.

“I’m looking forward to what the research has to say,” Dietert said.

“I’m not sure if, in terms of joining the military, it will effect women wanting to join or stay in. it’s a challenge no matter what.”

All of the current data from test-takers now is being analyzed by Rand Corporation for a final report to the Defense Department.

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