Last summer, the Obama administration demanded the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell so gays in the military could freely announce their sexual orientation. This summer, the Department of Defense is celebrating “Pride Month,” saluting gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered members serving in the military.

The AP reports:

In the latest remarkable sign of change since the military repealed the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, the Defense Department will soon hold its first event to recognize gay and lesbian troops. It comes nine months after repeal of the policy that had prohibited gay troops from serving openly and forced more than 13,500 service members out of the armed forces.

Details are still being worked out, but officials say Defense Secretary Leon Panetta wants to honor the contributions of gay service members.

“Now that we’ve repealed `don’t ask, don’t tell,’ he feels it’s important to find a way this month to recognize the service and professionalism of gay and lesbian troops,” said Navy Capt. John Kirby, a spokesman.

Watch Secretary Panetta’s recorded message: