Panetta Says Women in Combat Ensures ‘Most Capable’ Force

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said he is rescinding a rule that bans women serving in direct combat roles to ensure that U.S. forces are the most capable they can be.

“Women have shown great courage and sacrifice on and off the battlefield, contributed in unprecedented ways to the military’s mission and proven their ability to serve in an expanding number of role,” Panetta said today in a statement. “The department’s goal in rescinding the rule is to ensure that the mission is met with the best-qualified and most capable people, regardless of gender.”

To contact the reporter on this story: David Lerman in Washington at dlerman1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Liebert at lliebert@bloomberg.net

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