Nearly half of all women who attempted to make it through the One Station Unit Training (OSUT) program in Fort Benning, Georgia reportedly did not make the cut, despite requirements being altered in their favor.
According to PopularMilitary.com, only 18 of the 32 women who participated in the training advanced – not a good figure for the history books considering this is the first time women have participated in this training.
The outlet goes on to declare that “leadership attributed the high female attrition rates in the class – nearly fifty percent – to a private’s size and stamina when carrying the standard 35-pound rucksack and combat loads, with most of the women only around or under 5’4 and weighing less than 125 pounds.”
PopularMilitary.com further cites trainees who claim there was “a clear double-standards between males and females in their training cycle, including lighter rucksacks and lower expectations.”
According to ArmyTimes.com, the women who did pass were the minority among their 137 peers.
“There were subtle differences about this cycle,” the outlet states. “Pink and purple running shoes, long hair, more security in the barracks, and more visits from the brass.”
ArmyTimes.com states that “soldiers unanimously supported the integration down to the team level.”
“It’s odd and funny and somewhat baffling to me that we’re sitting here having this conversation,” said one male private when asked by the outlet if he had a problem with serving alongside women.
“Can women really keep up with men? Have you not been looking around for the last however many decades?”
The outlet further declares that “hundreds more” women are expected to report for OSUT training later this year.
This is not the first time women have struggled to pass military training.
According to The National Review, in 2015 all 45 “hand-picked, highly fit women” who participated in Ranger and Marine-officer combat training flopped.
“The 45 women were part of an effort to meet a 2016 deadline mandating that all combat roles, including special forces, be opened up to women,” the outlet states before citing a study from Britain’s Tri-Science Review which concluded that co-ed military units have “lower survivability” and a “reduced lethality rate.”
“This study, along with countless others done over the last 40 years, demonstrate that combat capabilities are so heavily weighted toward men that the gap cannot be closed,” continues The National Review.