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U.S. Army soldiers, from left, 1st Sgt. Marcia McGee, Spc. Vanessa Davila, Spc. Heidi Olson and Maj. Sheila Medeiros talk to reporters, Thursday at Joint Base Lewis McChord, Wash., about the decision announced by defense leaders Thursday to open a quarter-million combat and other military positions to service members regardless of gender.

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Equally strong: Women in combat good to go if they meet standards

Women in the military must have the same opportunities as men to take on grueling and dangerous combat jobs, whether loading 50-pound artillery shells or joining commando raids to take out terrorists, defense leaders declared Thursday as they ordered a quarter-million positions open to service members regardless of gender.

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