The Pentagon is joining the nation in celebrating LGBT Pride.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in a statement released this week that the department is committed to treating everyone equally.

“The Department of Defense has made a lasting commitment to living the values we defend – to treating everyone equally – because we need to be a meritocracy,” Carter said. “We have to focus relentlessly on our mission, which means the thing that matters most about a person is what they can contribute to national defense.”

“Diversity is one of our nation's greatest strengths,” the department said. “During Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pride month, we celebrate our rich diversity and renew our enduring commitment to equity.”

The Pentagon's presentation also recognizes the contributions of Dr. Frank E. Kameny, who served in World War II, and Technical Sergeant Leonard P. Matlovich, a Vietnam War veteran. Kameny was fired and barred from federal employment in 1957 because he was gay. His unsuccessful lawsuit was the first to challenge the ban. The U.S. government formally apologized to Kameny in 2009. Matlovich, who earned the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star, outed himself to challenge the ban on gays in the military.