According to the numbers, a jaw-dropping 36% of soldiers overall failed the test, with 64% passing. When you break it down by gender, 70% of men passed. But here is a number should kill and bury the ACFT evermore: 84% of women failed the test. Those numbers are so absurdly biased against women that I was afraid this was some sort of elaborate joke by Duffelblog. But I spoke with one soldier in a leadership position at an ACFT test battalion, and the soldier confirmed that the leaked numbers lined up almost exactly with those of the soldier’s battalion.
Here is why those fail numbers are so bad, male or female: you fail your physical training test, you get flagged. You aren’t going to military schools like Basic Leader Course or Airborne School. And if somehow you get there anyway, when you’re tested again you’ll be turned around and sent home. You cannot be promoted. You cannot be reclassified into another MOS. In the Guard and reserve, you cannot be transferred. You lose your tuition assistance. You can’t even reenlist!
Here is where it gets really ugly. If 84% of women are failing this test—keep in mind, 84% of women who are in battalions specifically preparing for the ACFT—you have essentially eliminated women from the United States Army. It gets uglier yet. When a woman gives birth, she gets a six-month profile excusing her from the ACFT. The thing is: the real killer for women is the “leg tuck” portion of the ACFT, in which you assume a pull-up position and bring your hips and knees up to your elbows and back down as many times as possible in two minutes. That’s asking an awful lot for a woman who has given birth in the last few months; and allows, basically, for no time to actually train up for the event once her profile expires. Already, women are failing the leg tuck test by 72%.
It is no secret that sexism is a problem in the military. What this test makes clear is that said sexism knows no bounds, and with the capricious stroke of a pen, those men have found a way to wash an entire gender from the ranks. If 84% of women are failing the test, the problem is not with women soldiers; it’s the test.
Of course, it’s the sexism and the maternity leave – not biology or anything. This may actually benefit the US in the upcoming conflict. If the Russians and/or Chinese can’t stop laughing, then they can’t fight. Brilliant!