Outgoing Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta will announce on Thursday a lift on the ban of females serving in military combats roles.
Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed, a former Army Ranger supported the decision. ‘"I applaud the Secretary for formally removing the ban. The reality of today's battlefield is that all who serve are in combat."
The Army and Marines which make up the bulk of the U.S. armed forces ground combat force say they will formulate plans to open up most military jobs to women by May 15.
Currently the U.S. Army bars women from 25% of active-duty combat roles.
In the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan women have largely served besides men since there had been no active "front-line."