Updated: 01/24/2013 2:09 PM KSTP.com By: Leslie Dyste
President Barack Obama says allowing women to serve in combat marks another step toward the country's founding ideals of fairness and equality.
Obama says in a written statement he expressed strong support for the decision to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who lifted the combat ban Thursday.
Obama says he is confident the decision - coupled with the recent repeal of the ban on gays in the military - will strengthen the U.S. military.
The president says, quote, "Today, every American can be proud that our military will grow even stronger, with our mothers, wives, sisters and daughters playing a greater role in protecting this country we love. "
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)