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Military Panel Recommends Putting Women in the Battlefield

Jupiterimages/Comstock(ARLINGTON, Va.) -- Should women soldiers take up arms on the battlefield?  The Military Leadership Diversity Commission says it's time that happened.

In a recommendation delivered to the Pentagon Monday, the commission strongly advised that policies excluding women from combat and other "barriers and inconsistencies" need to be eliminated to level the playing field so that women can advance in the military.

Commission leader and retired Air Force Gen. Lester Lyles said, "We know that [the exclusion] hinders women from promotion.  We want to take away all the hindrances and cultural biases."

Lyle pointed out that today's conflicts are vastly different from the Cold War era because women now "serve and lead military security, military police units, air defense units, intelligence units."

If the Defense Department agrees, it would repeal a 1994 combat exclusion policy that was crafted before women were assigned to combat units.

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