Even as Congress voted to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, officials are warning gay men and women serving in the military that new rules still have to be implemented.
The vote is considered a win for the White House, members of Congress, and gay rights activists who have advocated to end the Department of Defense policy, which began banning gay Americans from openly serving in the military 17 years ago.
News outlets speculate that there will be implications for regulations ranging from leadership training and standards of conduct to cultural perceptions about openly gay service members.
According to the Associated Press, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that "successful implementation (of the new policy) will depend upon strong leadership, a clear message, and proactive education throughout the force."
It will be interesting to see if the Department of Defense will partner with LGBT organizations, which have been instrumental in pushing for the repeal, to address the communications challenges of new regulations.