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Panetta: Women are integral to military's success

Women in Combat Ban Lifted
Posted at 3:52 PM, Jan 24, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-24 15:52:00-05

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, in announcing he is lifting a ban on women serving in combat, said he believes women have become an integral part of the military's ability to succeed.

Panetta made his announcement with the Joint Chiefs chairman, Gen. Martin Dempsey, at a Pentagon news conference.

Panetta said that not everyone can meet the qualifications to be a combat soldier. But, he said, everyone is entitled to the chance.

He said the qualifications will not be reduced, and with women playing a broader role, the military will be strengthened.