National Armed Forces Day 2023 (US), Significance, History, and Facts

Every year, the US celebrates its National Armed Forces Day on the third Saturday of May. The day offers tribute to all those men and women who have or are serving in the United States armed forces, be it the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Space Force and Coast Guard. Armed Forces Day is a part of the Armed Forces Week in America that begins on the second Saturday of May. This day falls during Military Appreciation Month and is a major May military-themed holiday alongside Memorial Day, Military Spouse Appreciation Day and Victory in Europe Day (V-E Day). For more details about National Armed Forces Day 2023 like history, celebration, importance, etc, keep reading this article.

National Armed Forces Day 2023 Date

Find below upcoming date of National Armed Forces Day:

National Armed Forces Day 2023May 20, 2023Saturday
National Armed Forces Day 2024May 18, 2024Saturday
National Armed Forces Day 2025May 17, 2025Saturday
National Armed Forces Day 2026May 16, 2026Saturday
National Armed Forces Day 2027May 15, 2027Saturday

National Armed Forces Day 2023 Overview

EventNational Armed Forces Day 2023
DateMay 20, 2023
Declared byGovernment of US
Observed byUnited States
Purpose of celebrationTo offer tribute to all those men and women who have or are serving in the United States armed forces.


There are six branches of the United States Military namely the Army, Navy, Air force, Marine Corps, Space Force and Coast Guard. Over a million individuals are active-duty service members of these Armed Forces, stationed in the United States and around the world. In addition to this, there are around another million reservists standing ready in the Forces. The National Armed Forces Day provides an opportunity to unite the country in the name of the men and women who are currently serving in the United States military and honor them as a whole. The day also aims to spread public understanding of the type of job performed and the role of the military in civilian life.


On July 26, 1947, the then President of America Harry S. Truman signed the National Security Act into law which unified the four branches of the military under a single executive authority, the Secretary of Defense. Louis Johnson, who was appointed the United States Secretary of Defense, announced on August 31, 1949, the establishment of an Armed Forces Day to replace separate Army, Navy and Air Force Days.

On February 27, 1950, the first Armed Forces day was proclaimed by Presidential Proclamation 2873 and was celebrated for the first time on Saturday, May 20, 1950. The theme for the celebration was Teamed for Defense which expressed the unification of all military forces under one government department. The inaugural Armed Forces Day was observed with parades, open houses, receptions and air shows.  Armed Forces Day is still celebrated across the nation with great enthusiasm and is part of Armed Forces Week.

Celebration of National Armed Forces Day

Every year, National Armed Forces Day is observed in the United States with various events and activities organized in the honor of those serving their country in times of war and peace. Armed Forces Day is also a day for the military to show their “state-of-the-art” equipment to Americans. Events organized on this day include multi-service military displays in areas open for the public, “Support the Troops” themed motorcycle rides, large parades and other local celebrations. Various educational activities that teach children about the armed forces are also organized in schools and colleges.

As an individual, you can celebrate this day by going to a parade or visiting a public military display. You can also visit a military memorial or cemetery to pay your respects to the fallen soldiers of the country. A theme is also decided every year to celebrate National Armed Forces Day.

Some Fun Facts about US Armed Forces

Check out some interesting facts related to the United States Armed Forces:

  1. National Armed Forces Day is a day to honor and acknowledge Americans in the armed forces.
  2. The American flag patch on military uniforms has the stars on the right and stripes on the left (opposite of the US national flag).
  3. The army changed from green to blue as a tribute to George Washington.
  4. 30 American presidents have served in the US Army.
  5. The United States Department of Defense is the largest employer in the world.
  6. 4.6 billion gallons of fuel are used by the US military every year.

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Frequently Asked Questions

When do we celebrate National Armed Forces Day?

Third Saturday of May every year

Is National Armed Forces Day a federal holiday?


Does the US Army have a month?

May is marked officially as Military Appreciation Month.

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