In a decision that is both historic and surprising that it happened earlier, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has lifted the ban on women serving in combat. The ban on women serving in small ground combat units was put in place in 1994 (!), and remained until today. Panetta is giving the military until January 2016 to decide if they want to seek any exceptions and bar women from other roles.
This seems like one of the last codified vestiges of a more chivalrous, but also more sexist time. What I did not expect was that this time was 1994. Either way, it is a good thing to see this ban on women in ground combat lifted. It doesn't help anyone to pretend that war is a manly and noble thing. It's grueling and scary, and if we are going to do it, then we shouldn't restrict any consenting adult from participating.