More than 50 percent of female Marines in boot camp can't meet the new minimum standard of three pull-ups, so the Marine Corps is now delaying the requirement.
The military has been trying to equalize physical standards to integrate women into combat roles. All service branches are working on devising standards, training, and other policies needed to open thousands of combat roles to women in 2016.
Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, said the decision to suspend the scheduled pull-up requirement is a "clear indication" that plans to move women into direct ground combat fighting teams will not work.
In fall 2012, only two female Marines volunteered for the 13-week infantry officers training course at Quantico, Va. Both failed to complete it.
The following fall, three Marines became the first women to graduate from the Corps' enlisted infantry training school in North Carolina. They completed the same test standards as the men in the course.
Navy Lt. Cmdr. Nathan Christensen, a Defense Department spokesman, said the military services are working to figure out how to move women into newly opened jobs.
Officials have been devising updated physical standards, training, education, and other programs for thousands of jobs they must open Jan. 1, 2016.