US-MILITARY-WOMEN-COMBAT-FILES

(FILES): This March 21, 2004 file photo shows female soldiers from the US 1st Cavalry join a patrol in Baghdad's al-Jihad quarter.  US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has decided to lift a ban on women serving in combat, a senior defense official said January 23, 2013.  Panetta and General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, "are expected to announce the lifting of the direct combat exclusion rule for women in the military," the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told reporters.    AFP PHOTO / FILES / Karim SAHIBKARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images ORG XMIT: US milit ** TCN OUT ** ORG XMIT: CHI1301231508535305

( KARIM SAHIB / AFP/Getty Images / January 23, 2013 )

(FILES): This March 21, 2004 file photo shows female soldiers from the US 1st Cavalry join a patrol in Baghdad's al-Jihad quarter. US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has decided to lift a ban on women serving in combat, a senior defense official said January 23, 2013. Panetta and General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, "are expected to announce the lifting of the direct combat exclusion rule for women in the military," the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told reporters. AFP PHOTO / FILES / Karim SAHIBKARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images ORG XMIT: US milit ** TCN OUT ** ORG XMIT: CHI1301231508535305

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