The Pentagon opened the door for women to serve in combat Thursday, allowing females to serve in thousands of military jobs that inch them closer, if not directly on, the front lines.
The new rules, slated to go in effect this summer, will open up about 14,000 additional jobs to women and reflect the realities of asymmetrical warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan where there are few "safe jobs." In some cases, the Pentagon is simply lifting restrictions on jobs women have already been doing. As ABC News explains, "Typically, these jobs have been made available at the combat brigade level, but not at the lower battalion level, which was deemed too close to combat situation." Here are some of the positions now formally available to women:
Though there are already female medics, the battalions women will be able to serve on are almost sure to place them on the front lines of battle.
In the picture to the right, an Army flight medic, Jaime Adame, looks after a seriously wounded Marine in the aftermath of an insurgent attack in Afghanistan's Helmand Province.