Armed Forces Day

Armed Forces Day Quick Facts

2024 Date29 June 2024
2025 Date28 June 2025

Armed Forces Day

Armed Forces Day in 2024
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Armed Forces Day honours and celebrates the bravery, dedication, and sacrifices made by the men and women who serve or have served in the British Armed Forces. The event salutes our heroes from the Royal Navy, British Army, Royal Air Force, reserve and regular forces, and veterans from across the globe who fought in conflicts throughout history. It highlights the significant role the armed forces play not only in defence, peacekeeping, and humanitarian efforts but also in fostering community ties, providing educational opportunities, and supporting local economies through employment.

The origins of Armed Forces Day can be traced back to 2006 when the government-led initiative "Veterans' Day" was launched in response to a campaign by The Royal British Legion, with the aim to raise public awareness and support for the welfare of armed forces veterans. In 2009, it was renamed "Armed Forces Day" and expanded its focus to encompass appreciation for all current servicemen and women alongside veterans. Since then, the occasion has been marked every year with parades, live music, military displays, and local events hosted across the UK, serving as an opportunity for the nation to express its gratitude and unite in recognition of the noble efforts of its armed forces members.

Armed Forces Day is usually observed on the last Saturday of June, and its celebrations are regulated by the Ministry of Defence. Each year, a different major town or city is chosen to host the national event, followed by numerous smaller gatherings in of varying sizes occurring throughout the United Kingdom.

Armed Forces Day Facts

  • According to the UK Parliament, as of 2022, there are about 158,000 active UK Armed Forces.
  • According to a poll conducted in 2020, 81% of respondents said they had a positive opinion of the UK Armed Forces.

In the News and Trending for Armed Forces Day

Armed Forces Day Top Things to Do

  • Visiting military museums, such as the Imperial War Museum (London), National Museum of the Royal Navy (Portsmouth), or National Army Museum (London), can provide a deeper understanding of the UK's military history and the contributions made by the armed forces.
  • Various military bases, including RAF (Royal Air Force) stations and army barracks, open their doors to the public on Armed Forces Day. Visitors can explore the facilities, interact with service personnel, and learn about the role and equipment used by the military.
  • Numerous fundraising events are organized on Armed Forces Day to support organizations that provide assistance and support to current and former military personnel and their families.
  • Watch Dunkirk: The Forgotten Heroes (2018). This documentary tells the story of the British soldiers left behind at Dunkirk and focuses on the bravery of the British Armed Forces.
  • Watch the colorful parades featuring military personnel, veterans, and local community groups in towns and cities across the UK.
  • Many military museums and historic sites in the UK offer free or discounted entry to visitors during Armed Forces Day, including the Imperial War Museum, National Army Museum, and the Royal Air Force Museum.

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