The US Department of Defense says it will allow service members to march in uniform in a gay pride parade for the first time in history.
The Pentagon issued a military-wide directive saying it was making an exception to its policy that generally bars troops from marching in uniform in parades.
The exception was being made for San Diego's Gay Pride Parade that will take place on Sunday (NZT).
The department said it was making the exception because parade organisers had invited service members to march in uniform and the matter was getting national attention.
The exception is only for this year's parade in San Diego and does not extend beyond that, the Pentagon said.
Parade organisers welcomed the news.
"San Diego Pride is honoured to have the privilege of celebrating our country and our service members with dignity and respect,'' said San Diego LGBT Pride executive director Dwayne Crenshaw. "The fight for equality is not over and it is not easy, but this is a giant leap in the right direction."