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>> WOMEN IN COMBAT Latest News

FEB 08, 2013 - Yahoo! News

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Obama says farewell to defense chief as successor awaits vote

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama bade a fond farewell to retiring Defense Secretary Leon Panetta at a ceremony on Friday and voiced strong support for his nominated successor, Chuck Hagel, who was attacked by Republicans at a contentious Senate confirmation hearing last week. Panetta, in his 19 months as Pentagon chief, ended the ban on women serving in front-line combat roles and oversaw the integration of gays and lesbians serving openly in the military. The Iraq war ended and the last Afghanistan "surge" troops came home on his watch. ...

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