Pentagon to lift ban on women in combat

(PATRICK BAZ/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

(PATRICK BAZ/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

Outgoing Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey are expected to formally announce that the Pentagon is lifting the ban on women serving in combat, according to defense officials.

The decision comes less than 18 months after the president and Congress formally ended the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell policy” that had prohibited gay men and women from serving openly.

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