In the second episode of Offline, an unscripted presentation of guests debating controversial subjects in the CrossFit world, the topic is whether women should serve in combat roles. Earlier this year, the Pentagon announced it would allow women to apply for front-line combat positions.
Host Russell Berger welcomes guests Zach Forrest, owner of CrossFit Max Effort and a member of CrossFit’s Level 1 Seminar Staff; Jody Geare, a firefighter and EMT; Aly Linehan, coach at CrossFit Purgatory; and Chris Stokes, a Marine veteran and principal at CrossFit Hail Fire.
Linehan, a former Air Force linguist who has been on multiple deployments, questions whether a woman would be able to carry more than 70 lb. worth of equipment “over and over on rugged terrain.”
“I think, biologically, a woman’s body will break down faster than a man’s,” she says, “then she becomes more of a nuisance.”
Berger notes that Julie Foucher, who placed third at last year’s CrossFit Games, finished the Pendleton 2 event that year ahead of most men and that several women at this year’s Games put more weight overhead than he did while in the military.
But that’s not comparing apples to apples, Forrest says.
“If we were to look at technique in sport versus technique used on the battlefield it’s going to be different,” he explains. “The productive application of force—the way we teach in the Level 1—is completely different when you have to learn it on the fly. There’s more of a margin of error.”
Post your opinion to comments.
Video by Russell Berger and Noor Greene.
HD file size: 303 MB
SD mov file size: 114 MB
Please note: For smoother viewing of HD videos, please download the entire file to your hard drive before watching it (right-click and choose Save Link As...).
Additional reading: Staying in the Fight by Mark Divine, published Sept. 12, 2011.