The Huffington Post recently reported that Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta decided to lift the ban forbidding women from entering into ground combat, which supports the recommendation made by the Joint Chiefs of Staff:
The military’s official policy toward servicewomen, based on the 1994 Direct Ground Combat Definition and Assignment Rule, generally bars women from assignment to units below the brigade level when the units’ primary mission is direct ground combat, according to Defense spokeswoman Eileen Lainez. The rule gives the services discretion to further restrict women from positions with physically demanding tasks, special operations, stationing or cohabitating with combat troops, or a lack of privacy.
Despite the ban, some women have been serving in combat for more than a decade. Often, though, their service is not officially recognized, which can obstruct professional advancement or access to benefits. Active-duty female personnel make up roughly 15 percent — or 207,308 members — of the more than 1.4 million armed forces, according to the Department of Defense.
The rest of the story can be found at The Huffington Post.