DADT Repeal: Gay Officer Says 'This Is Going To Take Some Getting Used To' (VIDEO)

ARLINGTON, Va. -- The Pentagon's "don't ask, don't tell" policy barring gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military officially ended at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday morning after 17 years. The repeal will be greeted with celebrations in all 50 states as gay service members will be allowed to reveal for the first time their sexual identity without fear of reprisal.

Pentagon press secretary George Little said Monday that the military is prepared for the end of the policy, which took effect in 1993 under President Bill Clinton.

The Huffington Post spoke to Todd Burton, 43, an Army lieutenant colonel stationed in Arlington, Va., on Monday night.

While he described the repeal as "empowering" and "freeing," he also acknowledged that the freedom will "take some getting used to."