The US Department of Defense, in a first-of-its-kind move, will allow active duty members of all branches of the US military to don their service uniforms while marching in an upcoming San Diego gay pride parade, event organizers said on Thursday.

The move, confirmed in an internal defense memo, marks the first time the military has granted such blanket permission since the September repeal of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, under which gay individuals were allowed to serve in the military only if they did not divulge their sexual orientation.

"It is our understanding that event organizers plan to have a portion of the parade dedicated to military members," Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Community and Public Outreach Rene Bardorf wrote in an internal memo.

"We further understand organizers are encouraging service members to seek their commander's approval to march in uniform and to display their pride," Bardorf wrote.

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