Pentagon announces decision to lift ban on women in combat roles
The Pentagon formally announced Thursday that it would lift the ban on women serving in combat positions, in one of Leon Panetta's last acts as President Obama's Defense secretary.
The change would open hundreds of thousands of front-line positions and potentially elite commando jobs after more than a decade at war.
The groundbreaking move recommended by the Joint Chiefs of Staff overturns a 1994 rule banning women from being assigned to smaller ground combat units. Panetta's decision gives the military services until January 2016 to seek special exceptions if they believe any positions must remain closed to women.