Armed Forces Day

Armed Forces Day Quick Facts

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2023 Date24 June 2023
2024 Date29 June 2024
Armed Forces Day

Armed Forces Day History

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.

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