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Leon Panetta

Pentagon opening all combat roles in military to women

Pentagon opening all combat roles in military to women

In a historic move, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said Thursday that he would finally end the Pentagon’s formal ban on women in combat jobs, allowing them to serve in all artillery, infantry and other frontline units for the first time in April.

Carter’s sweeping decision was a defeat for the Marine Corps, the last holdout in the battle to integrate women. It had sought exemptions for some jobs, such as machine gunner, arguing that women lacked the strength and ability to fight and survive in combat.

But Carter said at a Pentagon news conference that he had rejected the Marines’ requests because the military is a joint force and should operate under a...

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