Male and female poolees interested in taking combat-related jobs face a tougher initial strength test.

Since Jan. 1, poolees who have indicated they want to train to become infantrymen, Recon Marines, combat engineers and the Marine Corps’ other most demanding military occupational specialties have been required to pass MOS-specific standards.

The new initial strength test requires poolees to complete three pullups, a 1.5-mile run within 13 minutes and 30 seconds, 44 crunches within two minutes  and 45 ammo-can lifts within two minutes before they can ship to boot camp.

Poolees not training for load-bearing MOSs have to pass a different initial strength test that requires men to do two pullups and women to hold a flexed-arm hang for at least 12 seconds. Both men and women have to complete a 1.5-mile run in 13 minutes and 30 seconds and do 44 crunches in two minutes.

Most of the poolees eligible for the MOSs that require the new test have been men,  but some women have also passed the test to train to for MOSs that now require the tougher test, said Maj. Garron Garn, a spokesman for Marine Corps Recruiting Command.

When Defense Secretary Ashton Carter approves the Marine Corps’ gender integration plan, the service can begin contracting women into all of the MOSs that require the new test, Garn said.

One of Marine Corps Recruiting Command’s tasks is to make sure all poolees improve their overall body strength while they are in the delayed entry program, regardless of the MOS for which they ultimately train, Garn said.

In order to make sure poolees are ready for recruit training, recruiting station commanders have the authority to require poolees to meet standards even higher than the new initial strength test, said Master Sgt. Bryce Piper, public affairs chief for Marine Corps Recruiting Command.