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A female US soldier manning a machine gun on a vehicle during clashes in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on June 13, 2003.
It's a landmark moment for women in the military. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Thursday is expected to formally announce that he's lifting the ban on women in combat.
The move will open up hundreds of thousands more front-line jobs to women, and allow female soldiers already on the front lines to receive recognition for their service.
Major Mary Jennings Hegar is one those women who has spent time in combat zones. We spoke with her last November, when the ACLU of Northern California sued the Pentagon on her behalf.