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National Armed Forces Day in USA 2021: History and Significance

(Representative pic: Shutterstock)

(Representative pic: Shutterstock)

It is to acknowledge the effort of all the people working in these branches that the Armed Forces Day is celebrated unanimously among the US military.

May 15 this year 2021, commemorates the very special Armed Forces Day. Celebrated on the third Saturday of May every year, this is a very crucial day dedicated to honour the US military forces for relentlessly providing security and protection to the nation. The US military constitutes of the following 6 branches -Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Navy, and the Space Force. In addition to the above branches, the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard are reserve components of their services and function, partially, under state authority.

It is to acknowledge the effort of all the people working in these branches that the Armed Forces Day is celebrated unanimously among the US military. The inception of this day goes back to several years. The Defense Secretary Louis Johnson in 1949 on August 31, stated the concept of single-day observation as the Armed Forces Day in order to substitute separate Army, Navy and Air Force Days. As a result, all the armed forces were put together under one unified agency name — the Department of Defense.

Following which, President Truman announced the birth of this momentous Armed Forces Day through his speech praising ‘the military services at home and across the sea’. Therefore, it was Saturday, May 20, 1950 that marked the maiden Armed Forces Day which witnessed a ‘combined demonstration by America’s defense team of its progress under the National Security Act’ directed ‘toward the goal of readiness for any eventuality’.

The role of the commander-in-chief is assumed by the President of the United States. It was President John F. Kennedy who had declared Armed Forces Day as an official holiday, in the year 1962.

Significance of the Armed Forces Day

Armed Forces Day is a wonderful initiative to express gratitude personally to both men and women for their military services to the nation; ensuring protection and peace. Observing Armed Forces Day is a means to extend support, which serves as an immense morale boost for the defense personnels and their families as well.

Armed Forces Day is one of the many holidays devoted to military personnels, annually. Military Appreciation Month, Memorial Day, Military Spouse Appreciation Day are some of the other celebratory events.

The Armed Forces Day is observed on military bases, in American communities all across the globe. It is important to note that Armed Forces Day is not the same as Veterans Day. Armed Forces Day is meant to salute the services of the US military people whose services are ongoing; while Veterans Day pays tribute to only veterans.

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first published:May 15, 2021, 09:42 IST