The Navy on Wednesday announced that it was joining the nation in celebrating LGBT Pride.

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus said in a statement that the Navy has always lived by the principles of eliminating prejudice and celebrating diversity.

“Americans have always worked to fulfill that exceptional promise made at our founding,” Mabus said. “We have continually broken down artificial barriers to equal opportunity … Our military forces have followed that same history and made themselves stronger and better and more effective because of it.”

The Navy said that it would recognize “LGBT service members and civilians for their dedicated service to our country” throughout the month of June.

“Diversity is a source of strength for the Navy, and is [a] key component to maintaining our highest state of readiness,” said a Navy spokesperson. “Diversity encompasses more than race and gender -- we seek to include diversity of thought, background, language, culture and skills as well. Our force comes from a diverse populous, and we are simply better at what we do when we are more diverse. We want individuals to serve who are right for the job regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, and creed. Our goal is to ensure that the mission is carried out by the best-qualified and the most capable service members.”

The United States dropped its “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” policy in 2011, allowing gay men and lesbians to serve openly.