AP: New Pentagon rules on women in combat

February 9, 2012 2:29:53 AM PST
Pentagon rules are catching up a bit with reality after a decade when women in the U.S. military have served, fought and died on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan.

On Thursday, the Pentagon is recommending to Congress that women be allowed to serve in more jobs closer to the front lines.

According to defense officials, the new rules are expected to continue the long-held prohibition that prevents women from serving as infantry, armor and special operations forces. But they will formally allow women to serve in other jobs at the battalion level, which until now had been considered too close to combat.

In reality, the necessities of war have already propelled women to the front lines -- often as medics, military police or intelligence officers.