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Female Soldiers Welcome End Of Direct Combat Ban

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(credit: CBS) Rachel Slavik
Rachel Slavik joined the WCCO team in October of 2010 and is thrill...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – On Thursday, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced the Pentagon will lift its ban on women serving in direct combat.

The move will make it possible for women to serve on the front line and potentially take part in elite commando assignments.

Soldiers WCCO talked to say they’re happy to have the chance to be on the front lines.

In 24 years of service in the Minnesota Air National Guard, Master Sgt. Holly Caroon has seen a fair number of changes over her military career.

But she never expected to see Thursday’s shift in policy made by the Pentagon.

“I’ve been waiting for it patiently,” Caroon said.

For Sgt. Katie Warden of the Minnesota National Guard, it’s opening new doors for further advancement.

“I’m always looking for more opportunities to serve my country a little bit more,” Warden said.

As a member of the military police, she knows the challenge of holding a job traditionally given to men.

“When I joined my unit, I was one of two people who was in my unit who was a female,” she said. “It was quite interesting and exciting.”

It’s a decision that’s shattering what some call the brass ceiling.

The defense secretary said they would not lower qualifications for the special ops or other infantry positions — women would still have to meet the requirements.

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