Handout photo shows Then U.S. Army  First Lieutenan Kirsten Griest and fellow soldiers participating in combatives training during the Ranger Course on Fort Benning, Georgia

U.S. military opens all combat roles to women

Handout photo shows Then U.S. Army First Lieutenan Kirsten Griest and fellow soldiers participating in combatives training during the Ranger Course on Fort Benning, GeorgiaBy David Alexander and Phil Stewart WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. military will let women serve in all combat roles, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Thursday in a historic move striking down gender barriers in the armed forces. “As long as they qualify and meet the standards, women will now be able to contribute to our mission in ways they could not before,” Carter told a Pentagon news conference. President Barack Obama called the move a “historic step forward,” saying it would “make our military even stronger.” “Our armed forces will draw on an even wider pool of talent.

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