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Army Tests Men, Women in Joint Combat Fitness Study

Military News reports that “Military researchers put dozens of soldiers, both women and men, through a series of drills Wednesday aimed at helping the Army develop a unisex test to decide which troops are fit for combat, regardless of gender.”  

“Fort Stewart spent weeks training volunteers — 89 men and 58 women — in performing tasks the Army considers essential for troops on front lines, from dragging a wounded comrade to safety to loading 65 pound anti-tank missiles. Scientists from the Army’s Research Institute for Environmental Medicine had volunteer soldiers don oxygen masks and heart-rate monitors to record their exertion.”  

“On Tuesday the troops were timed as they toted heavy cans of ammunition and scrambled with rifles through an obstacle course laid out with orange cones.”  

“The Pentagon plans to start opening up combat jobs to women as early as 2016. Commanders want to break from longtime gauges of physical fitness — push-ups, sit-ups and 2-mile runs — and devise a test that more accurately mimics the most strenuous tasks that infantrymen, tank crews and other combat troops perform.”

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