Odierno: Sequestration threatens 'agile' force

Wednesday - 5/16/2012, 7:43pm EDT

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In a Defense Department briefing Wednesday, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno said service officials are closely examining the issue of women in infantry and armor ranks.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has already instituted a policy opening up 13,000 new positions to female soldiers.

"This revision allows us to leverage the tremendous talent resident in our ranks," Odierno told reporters, according to the Armed Forces Press Service. Women make up about 16 percent of Army troops.

Odierno also addressed the defense budget and the threat of automatic, across-the-board cuts, known as sequestration.

Odierno said sequestration would thwart the Pentagon's plan for a streamlined force.

"We will be leaner," Odierno said. "We'll be a more agile Army that is an adaptive, innovative, versatile and ready component of the joint force."