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Army approves first 22 female officers for ground combat jobs

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Jim Michaels | USA TODAY

The Army announced Friday the first 22 women to be commissioned as infantry and armor officers under new rules that open all ground combat jobs to females this year.

The move is a major step toward integrating women into so-called ground combat jobs, placing them in leadership roles in occupations that were never open to them.

Capt. Kristen Griest salutes during the graduation ceremony of the United more

The 22 women are near completion of their officer training and will be commissioned as second lieutenants in coming weeks. They need to successfully complete the specialty schools and meet the physical requirements before fully qualifying in the fields.

The military had expected only a small number of women to volunteer for the jobs, at least initially. The Marine Corps said about 200 women a year would likely join newly opened ground combat positions, including the infantry.

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