Army opens jobs in combat battalions to women

Female soldiers this week are moving into new jobs in once all-male units as the Army breaks down formal barriers in recognition of what's already gone on in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The policy change announced earlier this year is being tested at nine brigades before going Army-wide. It opens thousands of jobs to female soldiers by loosening restrictions meant to keep them away from the battlefield, after the experience on the ground in the past decade showed women were fighting and dying alongside male soldiers anyway.

The 4th Brigade Combat Team at Fort Campbell, Ky., is one of the test brigades.

Its commander, Col. Val Keaveny Jr., told The Associated Press that women have served in the Army since the Revolutionary War.