Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is lifting the ban on women serving in combat roles, following the recommendation of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and overturning the 1994 regulation that prevented women from serving in combat units. Our endless war machine is almost officially gender-neutral!

The move, which requires each branch to provide implementation plans by mid-May, opens up some 230,000 positions for women across the military — with some infantry positions potentially being available as soon as this year — as well as dozens of opportunities for late-night monologue jokes and standup routines, such as, [clears throat, tugs at tie] women protect U.S. oil interests like this [mimes suicidal depression and PTSD], and men prop up failed states like this [mimes suicidal depression and PTSD].

The official announcement is expected Thursday.

[WaPo, image via AP]