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Women could serve in combat in Afghanistan

The plan to let women serve in combat does not have any firm timeline. But it's possible implementation could begin before the Afghanistan war ends, one official says.


Army Capt. Orielle Buentello (l.) and 2nd Lt. Chelsea Adams (r.) help tighten Sgt. Samantha Dunn's new body armor designed for female soldiers with smaller statures at Fort Stewart in Georgia last year. The Pentagon is lifting a ban on women in combat units.

Corey Dickstein/The Morning News/AP/File

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As the nation’s top defense officials signed a memo Thursday lifting the ban on women in combat, more details have begun to emerge about the Pentagon’s plan to officially put female troops on the front lines – from how quickly it could happen to what the physical requirements might be.

On Thursday, some of the answers became clearer.

Could women officially be serving in the infantry, for example, before the war in Afghanistan ends? The answer is a measured, "yes."


“I don’t think we can exclude this possibility,” says a senior Defense official who could only speak to the media on condition of anonymity.


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