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Pentagon to announce changes for women in combat

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WASHINGTON – A big announcement is expected from the Pentagon in the day ahead.

The military is expected to reveal a new plan expanding jobs for women in combat.

According to CNN, women could begin training for jobs in Army Ranger and Navy Seal units by the middle of 2015.

In January, former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta ordered all jobs open to women in combat, unless military services requested a specific “exception.”

Since then, the Pentagon has been working on plans to implement those orders.

This announcement could open about 6,000 jobs to women in the Army, in addition to the 14,000 added in 2012.

Penatta’s decision overturns a 1994 rule that banned women from being assigned to smaller ground combat units.

Once the policy is changed, the Department of Defense will enter what is being called an “assessment phase,” in which each branch of service will look at the jobs and create a timetable to integrate them.

The Army and Marine Corps will likely examine physical standards and gender-neutral accommodations of combat units.

The American Civil Liberties Union recently filed a federal lawsuit against the Department of Defense, claiming combat exclusion is unfair and outdated.

The plaintiffs in the case said the exclusion hurts their chances of getting a promotion.

The Navy has put its first female officers on submarines and some female ground troops have been attached to combat units in Iraq and Afghanistan.