Servicemembers Legal Defense Network Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis is leaving the group five months after the repeal of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell.”

“Working with the team at SLDN on behalf of our nation's LGBT service members has been the great honor of my life,” Sarvis said in a statement. “But make no mistake – there is much more to be done. While I will not be on the front lines in the same way I have since 2007, I will be there nonetheless, doing all I can to help us reach a day in this country when there is full equality and every qualified patriot who wishes to serve can do so without fear, discrimination or harassment. That day is coming sooner than many think.”

SLDN played a critical role in the effort to repeal “Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” the 18-year-old policy that ended on September 20, 2011 which banned gay and bisexual troops from serving openly.

Sarvis told gay glossy The Advocate that a reinstatement of the policy seemed “highly unlikely.”

“But anything is possible in a new administration,” he added. “Unfortunately, gay, lesbian, and bi service members are serving today under a new set of regulations, which provide for their service. Their service is not protected by federal statute. I think there's a misconception among some folks that gays and lesbians are serving today under a new law that permits their service.”

SLDN will continue to champion for the rights of gay troops, particularly as they relate to marriage.

Sarvis will formally step down when a replacement is found.