ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — An historic change for the U.S. military could be felt and seen right here in Maryland–more females rising through the ranks and serving in positions previously deemed off-limits. That includes the U.S. Naval Academy.

Amy Yensi explains women now have a chance to join some of the country’s most elite forces.

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For the first time in American history, women can now qualify for the U.S. Navy SEALs.

Razor sharp precision and tactical prowess. The U.S. Navy SEALs are one of the country’s most elite combat forces. Soon, the men of the Navy Seals could have female comrades on the frontlines.

The U.S. Department of Defense recently decided to open all combat roles to women for the first time in U.S. military history.

“As long as they qualify and meet the standards, women will now be able to contribute to our mission in ways they could not before,” said Ash Carter, U.S. Dept. of Defense secretary.

The Navy SEALs Team is entrusted with high-stakes missions, like their successful ambush and takedown of Osama bin Laden.

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Navy Commander John T. Schofield says now that the SEAL Team is no longer off-limits to women, the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis will hold female troops to the same rigorous screening as men.

“It’s basically 24 hours of team building, physical endurance missions, basically to determine whether those midshipmen are qualified and can succeed in the SEAL community,” said Schofield.

Military leaders say it will take time to put the plan into action. The Defense Department still has to decide when and how to train women for combat roles.

“I think it’s a little too soon for anyone to know when you’re going to see women in combat roles, such as Naval special warfare. The important thing is to wait for the policy to come down,” said Schofield.

The commanding order is all that’s needed to move this historic about-face from the policy books to the battlefield.

The next Navy SEALs screening is in the spring of 2016.

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The armed services has until January 1 to submit plans to make the historic change.