Jan 23 2013
Outgoing Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta has decided to allow women to serve in combat roles, a watershed policy decision that follows years of calls for a fully inclusive military, defense officials said Wednesday.
Panetta and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, are expected to formally announce the change Thursday, the officials said. The Army, Marines and other services will then develop plans to open jobs in ground combat units, such as the infantry, to women.
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