Washington (CNN) -- A Pentagon commission on diversity is recommending the U.S. military end its ban on women serving in direct combat roles -- a restriction the group says is discriminatory and out of touch with the demands of modern warfare.
In its draft report, the Military Leadership Diversity Commission said the military should gradually eliminate the ban in order to create a "level playing field for all qualified service members."
The commission, comprised of senior military officers, businessmen and academics, must now release a final report. Its findings would then need to be sent to Congress and President Obama before any changes to policy would be implemented.
The draft report said the military's "combat exclusion policies" do not reflect the realities of the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and create institutional barriers to women, who are prevented from getting key assignments that could lead to career advancement.
"Service policies that bar women from gaining entry to certain combat-related career fields, specialties, units, and assignments are based on standards of conventional warfare, with well-defined, linear battlefields," the report said. "However, the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have been anything but conventional."