The United States is one of several countries that observe an annual Armed Forces Day. The desired holiday was established by President Harry S. Truman as a way to thank the military and their families for their service. Created on August 31st, 1949, the first observation took place on May 20th, 1950.
Initially, each branch of the military was celebrated on its own day. Today, Armed forces Day is observed on the third Saturday of May.
This day also serves as a great opportunity for our community to thank and support our veterans. You can honor veterans in a number of ways, including expressing gratitude for their service, participating in a social media appreciation post, or even donating to a veterans’ organization.
11 Interesting Facts about Armed Forces Day
Did you know that the US Department of Defense is the biggest employer of the United States, with 2.3 million people serving and 1.8 million people on active duty? For more interesting facts about the Armed Forces, read through the following. Get to also learn the important role of the Military.
- By virtue of the National Security Act of 1947, the National Military Establishment was formed.
- Most U.S. Presidents (about 31 out of the 44 presidents) have served in the military. The highest military honor is the Medal of Honor, which was awarded to former President Franklin D. Roosevelt. James Buchanan was the only enlisted President who never became an officer.
- Armed Forces Day was first celebrated in 1950. B-36 bombers flew over the capitals of every state during this event. Around 10,000 veterans and troops marched in Washington, DC.
- U.S. military personnel are among the largest providers of international aid and disaster relief. It is possible to reach the shoreline of nearly any location on Earth within 48 hours thanks to Marine Expeditionary Units, which patrol the oceans looking out for danger.
- Nearly 30 million acres of land are owned by the U.S. Department of Defense. It is the single largest consumer of energy in America.
- The military is more highly educated than the general population. To enlist, you must have a high school diploma or a GED. This means that most members have at least a high school diploma.
- As part of Armed Forces Day, military exercises are held at sea, in the air, and on land to honor their members and show off their state-of-the-art equipment to the general public.
- Several countries observe all-in-one Armed Forces Day, including Armenia, Australia, and New Zealand, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Burma, Canada, Chile, China, Cuba, Finland, France, Georgia, Guatemala, Hungary, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Lebanon, Mali, Malaysia, Mauritania, Mexico, North Korea, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Egypt, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, Venezuela, and Vietnam.
- In the United States, the military began desegregating long before civil institutions. In 1954, schools and other public institutions were ordered to desegregate. However, many remained segregated into the 1980s. On the other hand, the Army was the first to desegregate its troops during World War I.
- It was during World War I that women were first allowed to enlist in a role other than nursing. Women were first employed in clerical roles and as operators in the Signal Corps. As a result, men were able to take on more combat roles. Harry Truman signed an anti-discrimination bill in 1948. Its purpose was to end racial discrimination in the military, as well as discrimination against women. The bill allowed women to enlist during times of peace as well as during wartime.
- The day falls during National Military Appreciation Month, one of a series of holidays that honors our armed forces. After Loyalty Day comes Public Service Recognition Week, Military Spouse Appreciation Day, followed by Victory in Europe Day. The month culminates with Memorial Day.
With the vision of bringing citizens together to thank our military members for their patriotic service, President Harry S. Truman created this national holiday. Celebrations across the country help recognize the selfless efforts of the Army forces.