Panetta formally lifts women-in-battle ban

Policy will now reflect reality, he states

Posted: January 25, 2013 at 12:35 a.m.

Army Lt. Col. Tamatha Patterson of Huntingdon, Tenn., waits Thursday at the Pentagon for Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to hand her the memorandum he had just signed that ends the 1994 ban on women serving in combat.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on Thursday formally lifted the military’s ban on women in combat, saying that not every woman would become a combat soldier but that every woman deserved the chance to try.

Capt. Sara Rodriguez, 26, of the 101st Airborne Division, helps carry a litter with sandbags during training last spring at Fort Campbell, Ky. The end...

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Front Section, Pages 1 on 01/25/2013