History of women in combat

POSTED: 09:06 AM PST Jan 24, 2013    UPDATED: 01:19 PM PST Jan 24, 2013 

With Defense Secretary Ash Carter announcing Thursday that all U.S. military combat positions will now be open to women, take a look at the role women have played in major combats throughout history.

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Win McNamee/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta (left) began the process of ending the ban on women in combat positions in January 2013, announcing that the effort would be phased in over the next three years. At the time, Panetta said the move was a bow to reality on the battlefield, where women in what are technically non-combat units already are finding themselves fighting alongside their male comrades.

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