Pentagon lifts ban on women in combat WASHINGTON – The

Pentagon lifts ban on women in combat

WASHINGTON – The Pentagon on Thursday lifted a longtime ban on women serving in front-line combat positions, taking a historic step toward gender equality in the U.S. military after 11 years of war in which women were increasingly present on the battlefield. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, signed an order at a Pentagon news conference rescinding the rule that prevented women from serving in direct combat jobs. “They serve, they’re wounded, and they die right next to each other. The time has come to recognize that reality,” Panetta said, noting that 152 women in uniform had been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Chicago Tribune

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