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.

Women in Combat - WASP
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Department of Defense

Members of the Women Airforce Service Pilots became the first women to fly military aircraft in 1942, taking on flight missions at bases across the country to free up male pilots for combat duty. Surviving members were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal by President Barack Obama in 2010.


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