Marine Corps to Tighten Fitness Test for Women, Keep Combat Restrictions

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The Marine Corps will soon tighten physical fitness standards for women in uniform while maintaining the U.S. armed forces' ban on female ground-troops in combat, the service's new commandant said Friday.

"What signal do we send to the Corps when at the end of a mile and a half, all the women drop off to the side and the men keep running?" Gen. Charles Krulak asked reporters, referring to lower standards for women.

"To me, that's insanity. And so we are going to change that type of thing," he said. "The point is that they (women) want to do it and should do it. It sends the right signal to them. It sends the right signal to the male."

Krulak, who succeeded Gen. Karl Mundy in June, stressed that some allowances would be made for women just as they are for older Marines, such as a slightly longer time to finish the 3-mile run in the grueling physical fitness test.

The test is used as part of the basis for determining promotion in the Corps, which currently has about 8,000 women among its 172,000 members. …