ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The Minnesota National Guard says it will integrate female soldiers into previously all-male combat infantry units.

The Guard's announcement Thursday comes as the Pentagon lifts the ban on women serving in combat.

The Guard's First Brigade, 34th Infantry Division Red Bulls will be one of nine Guard brigades nationwide to immediately assign women to positions at headquarters combat units, where jobs previously were restricted to men. Those jobs could include human resources, intelligence, mechanics and medics.

Female soldiers already hold those positions in other units but had been restricted from those jobs in all-male units such as infantry and armor.

More than 16 percent of the state Guard are women, including 1,699 in the Army and 486 in the Air Force.

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