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Marine Col. Jon Aytes watches at left as Army Maj. Gen. Bennet Sacolick speaks during a news conference at the Pentagon, Tuesday, June 18, 2013. The military services announced their plans to break down the final barriers for women, opening up thousands of combat jobs including the elite Army Rangers and Navy SEAL.
1948—Law passed making women a permanent part of the U.S. military services.

1975—The Air Force puts the first woman on operational crew status.

1976—The first group of women enters the U.S. military academies, as directed by legislation signed by President Gerald Ford a year earlier.

1983—About 200 Army and Air Force women are among the forces deployed to Grenada, serving on air crews, as military police and as transportation specialists.

1990-91—Some 40,000 American military women are deployed during the Gulf War operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Iraqis take two Army women prisoner.

1994—A Pentagon policy prohibits women from being assigned to ground combat units below the brigade level. Historically, brigades—which are about 3,500 troops—were based farther from the front lines, and they often included top command and support staff.

2002—Marine Sgt. Jeannette L. Winters becomes the first U.S. servicewoman to die in the post-9/11 wars. She was killed in a refueling tanker crash.

2005—Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester, a Kentucky National Guard soldier, becomes the first woman awarded the Silver Star for service in the war on terror. Her convoy came under attack outside Baghdad. She was cited for killing several insurgents and saving the lives of numerous convoy members.

2008—Ann E. Dunwoody becomes the military's first women to be promoted to general. She retired in 2012 after 38 years in the Army.

2012—The military opens more than 14,000 jobs in smaller units closer to the front lines.

2013—Then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, sign order saying women must have the same opportunities as men in combat jobs. Military services begin studies to determine how and when to bring women into all jobs, probably including in at least some commando units.