Army Lt. Col. Tamatha Patterson of Huntingdon, Tenn., waits for Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta to hand her the memorandum he has just signed ending the 1994 ban on women serving in combat on Jan. 24, 2013, during a news conference at the Pentagon. (Associated Press)

Photo by: Cliff Owen

Army Lt. Col. Tamatha Patterson of Huntingdon, Tenn., waits for Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta to hand her the memorandum he has just signed ending the 1994 ban on women serving in combat on Jan. 24, 2013, during a news conference at the Pentagon. (Associated Press)