Armed Forces Day

Brandon Sumulong

Across the United States, Armed Forces Day is celebrated on Saturday, May 21 to the third Sunday of May to pay tribute to the men and women who served in military. On August 31, 1949, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson adopted a day for all branches of the military to consolidate under one department. Originally, Armed Forces Day was called “Team Defense Day.” For the purpose of this program, the U.S. Department states that this began as an educational program for civilians to understand the jobs performed in the military and the experience of their roles in the military. Armed Forces day was first observed on May 20, 1950. This special day has had many parades, airshows, and open houses. Posters, American flags, patriotism, and images of friends and families in their uniforms are displayed to promote Armed Forces Day.


Over the past years, Armed Forces Day themes included:


Appreciation of a Nation

Arsenal of Freedom and Democracy

Dedication and Devotion

Deter if Possible, Fight if Necessary


Freedom Through Unity

Guardians of Peace

Lasting Peace



Pillars of Freedom

Power for Peace

Prepared to Meet the Challenge


Protectors of Freedom

Realistic Deterrence

Representatives of the World’s Mightiest Democracy


Special Opportunity for Thanks

Teamed for Defense



On this day, we thank and we appreciate, the men and women who served in the military for giving us their dedication and bravery to this country. They fought for our freedoms, that we all enjoy, and for the opportunities that they gave us. Here and now, we say thanks again to them for protecting this country.