Army Steps Up Efforts to Recruit Women

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By Debbie Gregory.

Because women are 23% better at recruiting other women, the Army will increase the number of female recruiters to better target women. The goal is to add 1 percent each year for the next three years in order to get at least one woman at each of the Army’s more than 780 larger recruiting centers across the country.

And soon, local Army recruiting offices will have a set of physical tests, including running, jumping, lifting a weight and throwing a heavy ball, in order to determine what military jobs a recruit is physically capable of performing.

The tests will help the Pentagon set physical standards for every job that both men and women will have to meet. In December, Defense Secretary Ash Carter ordered all military services allow women to compete for all combat jobs. But he and other military leaders have been adamant that the physical standards for the jobs will not be lowered in order to allow more women to qualify.

And as women move into combat roles, Army commanders want to have women in leadership positions, such as drill sergeants and platoon sergeants, in order to lead by example and serve as mentors

The new physical tests will judge core strength and endurance. Recruits still will have to take the routine aptitude tests and physical evaluations.

And while the tests coincide with the campaign to recruit more women, military officials say that setting specific physical standards for all jobs may prevent some men from getting into certain infantry or armor posts if they don’t qualify.

The tests stem from a three year study done by the Army and are made up of four tasks: a standing long jump; an interval, aerobic run; a dead lift of weights; and a seated power throw of a weighted ball. It is expected that the cost to get all the testing equipment to the Army’s 1,300 recruiting locations will run approximately about $3 million.

 

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