Armed Forces Day

Armed Forces Day Quick Facts

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2024 DateMay 18, 2024
2025 DateMay 17, 2025

Armed Forces Day

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Armed Forces Day History

Armed Forces Day is a day to recognize those who actively serve in the Armed Forces. In 1947, the Armed Forces of the US were united under one department which was renamed the Department of Defense in 1949. President Harry S. Truman supported the creation of a day for the nation to unite in support and recognition of our military members and their families. On August 31, 1949, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced that Armed Forces Day would take the place of other individual branch celebrations, and all branches of the military would be honored this single day. Armed Forces Day is observed annually on the third Saturday in May.

Armed Forces Day facts

  • According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, in 2023, there are 17.8 million U.S. veterans.
  • According to the Pew Research, in 2023, Gulf War-era veterans account for the largest share of all U.S. veterans.
  • Armed Forces Day was first celebrated in the United States on May 20, 1950. The day was created to consolidate the separate Army, Navy, and Air Force Days into a single day.
  • One of the best ways to keep peace is to be prepared for war. - General George Washington

Top things to do for Armed Forces Day

  • Attend a parade or a military air show.
  • Send a care package to military personnel stationed overseas. Free flat-rate boxes are available at USPS. Use these to mail to military bases for a low cost.
  • Visit a local Veteran's Hospital or Nursing Home to show your gratitude.
  • Honor Military Working Dogs by donating to the ASPCA or other charitable organizations that protect and serve these heroic animals.

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