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Ban On Women In Combat Lifted

Woman in the military

Above: Woman in the military

The Associated Press is reporting that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will lift the ban on women serving in combat in the United States military.

According to the A.P., the move will open "hundreds of thousands of front-line positions and potentially elite commando jobs after more than a decade at war."

The American Forces Press Service reports Panetta made the decision to overturn the 1994 rule that banned women from certain combat roles upon the recommendation of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The A.P. reports some combat jobs may open up to women as soon as this year:

Assessments for others, such as special operations forces, including Navy SEALS and the Army's Delta Force, may take longer.

...[M]ilitary chiefs must report back to Panetta with their initial implementation plans by May 15.

However:

Panetta's decision gives the military services until January 2016 to seek special exceptions if they believe any positions must remain closed to women.

As Home Post previously reported, the ACLU of Northern California filed a lawsuit in November against the Pentagon policy that banned women from combat.

The ACLU filed the suit, Hegar, et al. v. Panetta, on behalf of four female service members who said despite fighting on the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Department of Defense's formal policy hampered their ability to get the same kind of promotions and awards as their male counterparts.

Women make up roughly 14 percent of the U.S. military.

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