Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, accompanied by Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, gestures during a news conference announcing opening combat roles to women at the Pentagon on Thursday. Panetta said he also is asking his department to begin taking steps to freeze civilian hiring, delay some contract awards and curtail some maintenance to prepare for drastic budget cuts if Congress can't reach an agreement on a final spending plan.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, accompanied by Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, gestures during a news conference announcing opening combat roles to women at the Pentagon on Thursday. Panetta said he also is asking his department to begin taking steps to freeze civilian hiring, delay some contract awards and curtail some maintenance to prepare for drastic budget cuts if Congress can't reach an agreement on a final spending plan.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press .
published Thursday, January 24th, 2013
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WASHINGTON — Women in the military must have the same opportunities as men to take on grueling and dangerous combat jobs, whether loading 50-pound artillery shells or joining commando raids to take out terrorists, defense leaders declared Thursday as they ordered a quarter-million positions open to service members regardless of gender.

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