Armed Forces Day 2018

Featured Content May 15, 2018 - Observed the third Saturday in May, Armed Forces Day pays tribute to the men and women who serve in the United States military


"Our Servicemen and women are serving throughout the world as guardians of peace--many of them away from their homes, their friends and their families. They are visible evidence of our determination to meet any threat to the peace with measured strength and high resolve. They are also evidence of a harsh but inescapable truth--that the survival of freedom requires great cost and commitment, and great personal sacrifice."


Armed Forces Day Historical Timeline:

  • July 26, 1947– President Harry S. Truman signs the National Security Act into law (61 Stat. 495). This Act unified the four branches of the military under a single executive authority, the Secretary of Defense. This decision leads to the creation of the National Military Establishment.
  • August 10, 1949 – An amendment to the National Security Act restructures the military and renames the National Military Establishment to the Department of Defense.
  • August 31, 1949 – Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announces the creation of an Armed Forces Day to replace current, separate Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force holidays. Armed Forces Day was created to match the unification of these branches and intended to replace the separate days of celebration, but some branches still have their separate celebration days in addition to this joint one.
  • February 27, 1950 – The first Armed Forces day was proclaimed by Presidential proclamation, but not observed until May 1950. President Truman proclaims, "Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 20, 1950, marks the first combined demonstration by America's defense team of its progress, under the National Security Act, towards the goal of readiness for any eventuality. It is the first formal procession of preparedness by the unified forces of our land, sea, and air defense."
  • May 20, 1950 – Armed Forces Day is first celebrated.
  • September 27, 2008 – The U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution which officially recognizes Armed Forces Day in appreciation of all United States servicemen and women.
  • Source: CNN


Related Legislation

50 U.S.C. 3002 - United States Code, 2012 Edition, Supplement 3, Title 50 - WAR AND NATIONAL DEFENSE
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Federal Register Vol. 15, No. 41, March 2, 1950 Proclamation 2873 - Armed Forces Day
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72 Stat. 514 - An Act to promote the national defense by providing for reorganization of the Department of Defense, and for other purposes
“Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1958”
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H. Res. 1122 (EH) - Recognizing Armed Forces Day
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H.R. 5786 (RH) - Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2019
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H. Rept. 115-673 - MILITARY CONSTRUCTION, VETERANS AFFAIRS, AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS BILL, 2019
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Budget FY 2019 - Department of Defense - Military Programs
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