Armed Forces Day

Significance of Armed Forces Day 2021

Armed Forces Day 2021 is a federal holiday observed annually on the third Saturday of May. It is a day dedicated to paying tribute to men and women who currently serve in the United States' armed forces. Additionally, Armed Forces Day 2021 forms part of Armed Forces Week. It should be noted, that because of their unique training schedules, National Guard and Reserve units may celebrate Armed Forces Day/Week over any period in the month of May.

History of Armed Forces Day

The inception of this Armed Forces Day dates back to 31 August 1949, it was a day dedicated to honour Americans who were currently serving in the five U.S. military branches – the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Coast Guard – following the consolidation of the military services in the United States Department of Defense. It was intended to replace the separate Army-, Navy-, Air Force-, Marine Corps- and Coast Guard Days but, today, the separate holidays are still observed independently.

On 20 May 1950, the holiday was first observed. The theme for that day was “Teamed for Defense” which expressed the unification of all military forces. Armed Force Day 2021 still remains as a day focused on expanding public knowledge and understanding on what type of job was performed within the army, the role of the military within civilian life and as a day of honour for all those serving in military forces.

Traditions of Armed Forces Day 2021

Traditionally, Armed Forces Day 2021 is viewed as a time of honour. The first Armed Forces Day was celebrated by parades, open houses, receptions and air shows. Today, many events and activities take place and may include: Multi-service military displays in areas open for the public, various educational activities that teach children about the armed forces and large parades and other local celebrations. The United States' longest continuously running Armed Forces Day Parade is held in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Certain types of music are also played at Armed Forces Day 2021 events as a way of showing respect those in the armed forces who died for their country.