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Thursday, January 24, 2013

US Pentagon lifts ban on women in combat

The Pentagon today lifted its ban on women in front-line combat roles, a move hailed by supporters as a historic step toward gender equality in US armed forces after 11 years of non-stop war.

The decision by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, with the support of President Barack Obama, sets into motion a process that will open thousands of jobs to women in America's armed forces and an expand opportunities for career advancement.

"The department's goal in rescinding the rule is to ensure that the mission is met with the best-qualified and most capable people, regardless of gender," Panetta said in a statement.

Panetta made the decision after the Joint Chiefs of Staff concluded it was time to move forward with efforts to integrate women "to the maximum extent possible," according to a statement.

The military services will have until May 15 to submit a plan on how they will comply by 2016. That plan will guide how quickly the new combat jobs open up and whether the services will seek exemptions to keep some closed to women.

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Tags:  US  Pentagon  military  women  





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