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US lifts women combat ban

The Pentagon has officially scrapped the military's ban imposed in 1994 on woman serving in front-line combat roles. The outgoing US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta will make a formally announcement later this evening.

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Women excluded from close combat roles in the UK

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.

There was no evidence to show that a change in current policy would be beneficial or risk-free, and so a decision was made to take a precautionary approach and maintain the current position.

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