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Female soldiers may get closer to combat

WASHINGTON, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- Internal Pentagon documents have some service members worried female soldiers will soon be deployed in ground-combat situations.

A Nov. 29 briefing to senior Army officers at the Pentagon proposes an end to the current ban on "collocation" -- deploying non-combat, mixed-sex units together with all-male combat groups, the Washington Times reported.

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"The way ahead: rewrite/eliminate the Army collocation policy," read a portion of the briefing text.

"Female soldiers, including young mothers, should not have to pay the price for Pentagon bureaucratic blunders and gender-based recruiting quotas that have caused apparent shortages in male soldiers for the new land-combat brigades," Elaine Donnelly, who heads the independent Center for Military Readiness, wrote to House Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter, R-Calif.

"It is my understanding that the Nov. 29 briefing was pre-decisional. There are a number of Army policies under review," said a Pentagon spokeswoman.

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