Armed forces day is one of the many military holidays that are celebrated in the USA each year. It is celebrated on the third Saturday in the month of May. This day falls during Military Appreciation Month and joins other military-themed holidays celebrated in the month of May like Military Spouse Appreciation Day, Memorial Day, and Victory in Europe Day (V-E Day).
Why is Armed Forces Day Celebrated?
Armed Forces Day is a holiday for citizens and people all around the world where they get together and thank the women and men of the United States Armed Forces. First initiated by President Harry S. Truman, Armed Forces Day was established in the year 1949. This holiday is a single day of celebration dedicated to all five branches of the United States of America military. This day also made sense because of its unification under the Department of Defense recently. This year Armed Forces Day is going to be observed on the third Saturday in the month of May, which falls on May 20.
History of Armed Forces Day
The history of the Armed Forces in the USA goes back over two centuries. The country has over time evolved from a newly formed nation fighting for its independence against Great Britain to fighting the landmark American Civil War to proving its strength during World War II, and then finally, towards the end of the 20th century, emerging as the world superpower. The U.S. armed forces comprise five main branches of the military and they are as follows Air Force, the Army, Navy, the Coast Guard, and Marine Corps.
The origin of the Army Force in the USA dates back to 1775. This was the time when the Continental Congress had initiated or established the Continental Army, Continental Marines, and Continental Navy. It was led and commanded by General George Washington. This newly formed military had fought against the British during the American Revolutionary War along with the French soldiers by its side. It later led to the Treaty of Paris and its independence. Later in the year 1789, the commander in chief of the military according to the new Constitution was then delegated as the president. He had the authority to create laws, declare war, and levy taxes.
Ever since the formation of the US Army, the main responsibility of the Army is to fight battles on land as well as deploy the US armed forces and military for takeover. A few of the major wars that the Army force of U.S. participated in were the War of 1812, the Indian Wars of the 1790s, the Spanish-American War of 1898, the American Civil War in 1861, and World Wars I as well as II in 1917 and 1941 respectively. It also participated in the Korean War in 1950, as well as the Vietnam War in 1965. Moreover, the military had also taken part in the Gulf War in 1991 as well as the war in Afghanistan.
The Armed Forces of the United States of America fell under the command of the Coast Guard and the Department of Defense, authorized by the Department of Homeland Security.
The US President is also the commander in chief and he/she can exercise authority through the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Secretary of Defense.
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Traditions Carried out on Armed Forces Day
There are many traditions that are carried out on Armed Day. Many events are conducted across cities in the U.S. where homage is paid to those army men who serve the citizens. These events include a public show of military services such as parades, air shows, open days, educational exhibits for children, as well as ‘Support the Troops’ motorbike rallies.
A lot of people also plan picnics and go out to celebrate the day with their family and friends who are also veterans. Moreover, there are also many shopping discounts that are made available by stores on this day. Some people also throw a military dress-up party or even war-movie marathons for their friends and family. These movies have many classics like “Black Hawk Down,” “Saving Private Ryan,” “Fury,” “The Hurt Locker,” “Apocalypse Now,” “Full Metal Jacket,” “Unbroken,” and “American Sniper.”
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