This Dec. 7, 2011 file photo shows former U.S. Defense Undersecretary Michele Flournoy, preparing for a bilateral meeting in Beijing, China. Flournoy, a politically moderate Pentagon veteran, is regarded by U.S. officials and political insiders as a top choice for President-elect Joe Bide to choose to head the Pentagon. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)
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President-elect Joe Biden is expected to take a historic step and select a woman to head the Pentagon for the first time, shattering one of the few remaining barriers to women in the department and the presidential Cabinet.