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U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Stephanie Robertson, a member of the female engagement team (FET) assigned to 2d Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 7, speaks with local civilians during an engagement mission in Marjah, Afghanistan, in this August 18, 2010 U.S. Marine Corps handout photo. The FET is attached to infantry battalions throughout Afghanistan to aid in engaging the female populace in support of the International Security Assistance Force. REUTERS/Lance Cpl. Marionne T. Mangrum/U.S. Marine Corps/Handout (AFGHANISTAN - Tags: MILITARY POLITICS CONFLICT SOCIETY) FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

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Pentagon ends combat ban for women

WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon lifted its ban on women in front-line combat roles on Thursday in a historic step toward gender equality in the U.S. armed forces after 11 years of nonstop war, during which the front lines were often not clearly defined.. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and General


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