Women on the frontline

Associated Press
Female soldiers train on a firing range while wearing new body armor on Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012, in Fort Campbell, Ky. Female soldiers from 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division are field testing the first Army body armor designed to fit women's physiques in preparation for their deployment to Afghanistan this fall. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey).

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U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta lifted the military's ban on women serving in combat, a move that could open thousands of frontline war fighting jobs to female service members. The decision marks yet another sweeping change for the military under President Barack Obama's administration, which led a drive to lift a prohibition on openly gay troops.

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