When the Pentagon ended its policy excluding female soldiers from direct combat positions earlier this year, it removed one of the final barriers for women in the military, and now top officials are getting to work on eliminating one of the final obstacles. U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) leaders recently spoke with lawmakers about opening up positions such as Navy Seals and Army Rangers to women, reports.

Among those leading the charge is SOCOM Commander Adm. William McRaven, who said he and others are looking into devising a specific plan to provide more SOCOM opportunities to female soldiers. Currently, the only opportunities open to them are cultural liaisons and other positions that don't involve combat. The process will be a long one, however, with officials expecting the transition to be made by the first quarter of 2016 at the earliest.

"We're building a plan to do that, looking at doctrine, training and deployment. I've got to find out whether we can pull that off – because I am committed to doing that and have seen the value," McRaven told lawmakers, according to the website.

The change in policy comes at a time when much of the Armed Forces is in flux. Aside from the impending budget cuts, the military is still on pace to be out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014.