Gays and lesbians will be treated just like any other soldiers, sailors, airmen or marines, the new rules say. But commanders will have some flexibility when they believe it's needed to maintain order and discipline in their units.
As the US military begins to map out how it will implement the new edict allowing gays to serve openly, the first order of business is drafting the regulations. The rule changes under discussion won't dictate how troops feel about the change, but will strictly enforce how they act on it.
The US Senate voted Saturday to repeal the ban on openly gay service, following earlier action by the Congress. Fulfilling a 2008 campaign promise, President Barack Obama plans to sign the bill into law on Wednesday. But in letters to the troops over the weekend, the four military service chiefs warned that the ban is still in place, and will be for some time to come