Ranger School graduate Captain Griest who now serves with the Army Talent Management Task Force sees her leadership role differently. She believes women can be pushed to the highest level of physical standards for combat, and believes she should be a role model for young recruits and help them achieve tough fitness goals.
“Fitness in the military is such an integral part of your job,” said Captain Griest, adding that she wrote her article because “women in combat arms are quite under-represented.” She wanted to give them a voice.
The military must determine “what is needed on a battlefield and keep everyone there,” she said. “For example, I want a soldier to be able to shoot his body at an obstacle in the infantry.”
She said she learned to lift a lot more weight than she ever imagined if she was properly trained. “I have heard people criticize me and say that I have internalized misogyny,” she said. “I think I have a sense of internalized empowerment.”
The military is expected to announce changes to the test this month. Soldiers will now be able to choose, without penalty, between a bent leg and a plank to test core strength. The military has also eliminated, for now, variation in standards for different types of jobs, relying instead on a base score for all soldiers.
Leaders are also evaluating the percentage of points that physical fitness will represent in the future promotion of enlisted soldiers. He will continue to test men and women and study the data; women are already doing better with the variation of the boards. “I think it was a good learning experience,” General Hibbard said.
Some critics have said the changes were not enough for a modern military.
“The military in particular is obsessed with fitness,” said Emma Moore, research associate for the Military, Veterans and Society program at the Center for a New American Security. “We are very keen that everyone who gets into combat arms must meet high standards, but why does someone working in cyber logistics even have to pass the same test?” We should try to support people on a fitness journey. “