Thursday, January 24, 2013

Pentagon lifts ban on women in combat

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon formally announced on Thursday its decision to lift its ban on women in front-line combat roles, a move hailed by supporters as a historic step toward gender equality in America's armed forces after 11 years of non-stop war.

"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," Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said in a statement.

Panetta is due to address a Pentagon news conference in the coming hours.

(Reporting by Phil Stewart and David Alexander; Editing by Vicki Allen)


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