The U.S. Army is conducting research aimed toward developing a unisex test to determine which troops are fit for combat regardless of gender. According to the Associated Press, 89 men and 58 women at Fort Stewart performed tasks such as dragging a wounded soldier to safety, loading anti-tank missiles, navigate obstacle courses, scaling walls while carrying 70 pounds of gear, removing the barrel of a 25mm gun on an armored vehicle, and more.
Scientists working for the Army’s Research Institute for Environmental Medicine instructed the soldiers to wear oxygen masks and heart-rate monitors to record their responses to various drills. All soldier volunteers had a month to prepare for the test.
“When we started, it was very challenging because we’d never experienced any of these tasks before,” said Capt. Nartrish Lance, 40, who is a 21-year Army veteran performing combat unit exercises for the first time. “But, once you get to rehearse … it becomes easy.”
As the AP reports, the Pentagon is planning to allow women to perform combat jobs as early as 2016.
Maj. Gen. Mike Murray, commander of Fort Stewart’s 3rd Infantry Division, said that only a small Army “population” would pass the combat unit test. “This overall effort is really about matching skill sets and attributes to the right job,” he said.
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by Tactical-Life / Mar 13, 2014