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Of the 6,376 U.S. military personnel who have died in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, 144 were women.

Today, in the 2.2 million active and Reserve force, a vast number of military jobs are open to women and 238,000 are closed. Women make up about 14 percent of the 1.4 million active-duty force.

Some battle-hardened male officers inside the Pentagon feared the Obama administration might make a grand policy change by opening the infantry and special operations to women.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus indicated last year that he was open to letting women try out for elite SEAL units, like the one that killed Osama bin Laden. “I think women ought to have whatever opportunities men do,” he told the Navy Times.

But the final policy statement issued Thursday states, essentially, that the gritty business of close-in land combat, day in, day out, is a man’s world - at least until the next review.

The new Pentagon policy rejects, for now, the recommendation of a blue-ribbon panel established by the Democrat-controlled Congress in 2009. The Military Leadership Diversity Commission, a mix of civilians and active and retired military members, recommended to President Obama a year ago that he remove all job barriers for women.

Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, Army chief of staff, told the TV program “This Week in Defense News” last fall that he wanted support jobs such as intelligence and signal officers open to women below the brigade.

But he did not endorse putting women in infantry, armor or special operations, such as Green Beret “A” teams.

The last major adjustment to women’s roles was in 1994, after Persian Gulf War, when President Clinton lifted the ban on women serving on combat aircraft and ships.