The Defense Department says the troops are ready for Don't Ask Don't Tell to officially end at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday morning, the Associated Press' Robert Burns reports. At that moment, gay troops will be allowed to serve openly. After decades of controversy over gays in the military, the Obama administration plans on keeping the historic change low-key, Burns says, with only Defense Secretary Leon Panetta marking the event with a news conference Tuesday.

Andy Blevins, a gay Navy veteran tells Denver's Fox 31 that the end of the gay ban will boost morale. “I never told them and they never asked, it was just understood,” Blevins says. “All the straight guys would come to me for advice on girls, all the girls would come to me for advice on guys."