The Armed Forces Day in the United States

Every year on the third Saturday in May, a large portion of Americans observe Armed Forces Day. It is a day set aside to honour the men and women who serve in the military services of the United States. Armed Forces Week, which starts on the second Saturday in May, includes Armed Forces Day as well.

Do public holidays exist for Armed Forces Day?

Armed Forces Day is observed on May 21, 2022, a Saturday, however it is a working day. In the United States, most firms operate within regular hours.

Soldiers from the US Army parade.

uniformed members of the US Army.

What Carry Out People?

On Armed Forces Day, several activities are held all around the country to celebrate the men and women in military who have served their nation in both war and peace. People who serve in the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard are recognised on this day. Due to their distinct training schedules, National Guard and Reserve units may observe Armed Forces Day/Week at any time in May. These kinds of things may happen:

  • exhibitions by various military branches in public spaces.
  • several instructional exercises that teach kids about the armed forces.
  • motorbike trips with a “Support the Troops” theme.
  • large parades and other regional festivities.

In order to honour the members of the armed services who gave their lives in the line of duty, certain genres of music are also performed during Armed Forces Day celebrations, as well as at monuments and graves. For instance, in recent years, buglers have performed a bugle call known as Taps on Armed Forces Day. Typically, the US military plays “Taps” for occasions including flag ceremonies, funerals, and memorial services.

Private Life

In regions where large-scale activities are conducted for Armed Forces Day, traffic and parking may be disrupted.


United States Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the establishment of an Armed Forces Day on August 31, 1949, to replace distinct Army, Navy, and Air Force Days. The event resulted from the unification of the armed forces under the Department of Defense. The newly created day was accepted by the Army, Navy, and Air Force leagues. The Marine Corps League chose to continue supporting both Armed Forces Day and Marine Corps Day.

The inaugural Armed Forces Day was observed on May 20, 1950, a Saturday. The day’s theme, “Teamed for Defense,” emphasised the integration of the armed forces under a single government agency. The purpose of the day, according to the U.S. Department of Defense, was to increase public awareness of the types of jobs done by military personnel as well as their contribution to society.

On Armed Forces Day, the military displayed to Americans its “state-of-the-art” hardware. It served as a day to recognise and pay tribute to Americans serving in the military services. The first Armed Forces Day included air displays, parades, open homes, and receptions. Armed Forces Week includes Armed Forces Day, which is still widely observed today.

Symbols American soldiers in uniform are often shown on posters and other promotional materials commemorating Armed Forces Day. Some posters include a collage of pictures, such as those of those serving in the military with their family or friends and the American flag.


Past Armed Forces Day themes have included the following:

A Nation’s Appreciation Dedication and Devotion Liberty Patriotism Power for Peace Prepared to Meet the Challenge Security Special Opportunity for Thanks Teamed for Defense Patriotism

These are just a few illustrations—not an exhaustive list—of prior years’ Armed Forces Day themes.

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