The US Department of Defence has issued a video showing "a photo story of women currently serving," throughout the US military as a ban which prevented female soldiers serving on the front line is lifted:
Imagery provided by the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Army via Flickr and DVIDS.
Speaking at a press conference United States Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta has said that women are "an integral part of our ability to perform" military mission, he added that, "not everyone can be a combat soldier, but everyone should have the chance."
The Pentagon's move to lift a ban on women in front-line combat roles has been hailed by supporters as an historic step toward gender equality in America's armed forces after 11 years of non-stop war.
In a statement Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said:
President Barack Obama fully supports the Pentagon's decision to lift a ban on women serving in frontline combat roles, White House spokesman Jay Carney said.
Ahead of the Pentagon's formal announcement later today, Mr Carney told reporters Obama is "very pleased" with the decision and "fully supports this effort to expand opportunities for women."
Carney said the recommendation emerged from military commanders, although Obama had discussed it with Defence Secretary Leon Panetta and others.
The Pentagon has said that the decision to end the ban on women in the military serving in combat roles is to ensure unit readiness, cohesion, morale and to promote the best and most qualified people.
The US military has scrapped the 1994 policy which banned women from combat roles according to a Pentagon statement.
The White House has said that President Obama strongly supports the decision.
The US army is to lift a ban on woman engaging in front-line combat, the US Defence Secretary is expected to announce today.
In the UK, women are currently banned from close-combat roles.
They allowed to undertake posts in areas such as logistics, artillery and engineering, but they cannot join the infantry or serve in small tactical combat arms teams where they are required to be in close contact with and kill the enemy face-to-face.
A Ministry of Defence review in 2010, concluded:
Senior US defence officials have said that US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta is lifting the ban on women serving in combat roles.
Other countries that allow women to take part in front-line fighting include Israel, Italy and Norway and New Zealand.
The Israeli Defence Force says it has put great effort to ensure there is gender equality in the field.