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Army Lt. Col. Tamatha Patterson, of Huntingdon, Tenn., waits for Defense Secretary Leon 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)

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**FILE** Defense Secretary Leon Panetta speaks Jan. 19, 2013, during a news conference in London. (Associated Press)

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U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta speaks about the situation in Algeria, at the start of his remarks at King's College in London on Jan. 18, 2013, saying there will be "no quarter for terrorists in North Africa." (Associated Press)

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U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta speaks about the situation in Algeria, at the start of his remarks at King's College in London on Jan. 18, 2013, saying there will be "no quarter for terrorists in North Africa." (Associated Press)

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U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta waves goodbye as he departs Rome en route to Vincenza, Italy on Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

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U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta waves goodbye as he departs Rome en route to Vincenza, Italy on Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

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Defense Secretary Leon Panetta pauses during a news conference in Rome on Jan. 16, 2013. Panetta confirmed that American citizens are among the hostages taken earlier that day by an al Qaeda-linked group that seized a gas field in Algeria, calling the action a "terrorist attack." (Associated Press)

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Defense Secretary Leon Panetta pauses during a news conference in Rome on Jan. 16, 2013. Panetta confirmed that American citizens are among the hostages taken earlier that day by an al Qaeda-linked group that seized a gas field in Algeria, calling the action a "terrorist attack." (Associated Press)

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Defense Secretary Leon Panetta speaks during a news conference at the Pentagon on Jan. 10, 2013. (Associated Press)

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Defense Secretary Leon Panetta (left) talks with Col. Christopher E. Craige, Commander of the 39th Air Base Wing at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey on Dec. 14, 2012. Panetta stopped to visit troops in Turkey before heading home after spending three days in Afghanistan. (Associated Press)

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Defense Secretary Leon Panetta (left) talks with Col. Christopher E. Craige, Commander of the 39th Air Base Wing at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey on Dec. 14, 2012. Panetta stopped to visit troops in Turkey before heading home after spending three days in Afghanistan. (Associated Press)

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Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, right, walks off of his plane and shakes hands with 10th Tanker Base Commander Brig. Gen Serdar Gulbas, center, Col. Christopher E. Craige, at left, Commander of the 39th Air Base Wing at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012. Panetta stopped to visit troops in Turkey before heading home after spending three days in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool)

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Defense Secretary Leon Panetta performs a swearing in ceremony to reenlist four troops during his visit to Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012. Panetta is heading home after spending three days in Afghanistan meeting with troops, commanders and Afghani leaders. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool)

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Defense Secretary Leon Panetta during a visit with troops at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012. Panetta stopped to visit troops in Turkey before heading home after spending three days in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool)

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U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, left, goes to shake hands with Army Maj. Gen. Robert Abrams, right, after Abrams introduced Panetta to the troops during a visit to Kandahar Airfield in Kandahar, Afghanistan, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool)

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U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta speaks to the troops during a visit to Kandahar Airfield in Kandahar, Afghanistan, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool)

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U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta meets with troops at Kabul International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, before boarding his plane and heading back to Washington. Panetta spent three days in Afghanistan meeting with troops, commanders and Afghani leaders. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool)

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U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta speaks to the troops during a visit to Kandahar Airfield in Kandahar, Afghanistan, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool)

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U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta walks out with Afghanistan's Defense Minister Gen. Bismillah Khan Mohammadi following their meeting in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool)

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U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai arrive for their joint news conference at the Presidential Palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool)