Armed Forces Day: A Tribute to the U.S. Armed Forces

The military organizational structure as we know it today is a result of the 1947 National Security Act. This act also established the U.S. Air Force and restructured the “War Department” into the “Department of Defense.” On August 31, 1949, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of Armed Forces Day to celebrate and unify the separate branches that now fell under the auspices of the newly established Department of Defense.

On the third Saturday of May, Americans pay tribute to the men and women who serve in the United States Armed Forces. Celebrations include military displays on land, sea and air as well as educational activities, parades and patriotic music with a different theme every year. The theme for the first Armed Forces Day on May 20, 1950, was “Teamed for Defense,” and other past themes have included “Freedom” and “Guardians of Peace.” This year’s theme is “Guardians of Freedom.”

Each service branch does their own part in serving our country. We’ve briefly highlighted some of each branch’s rich history and responsibilities below:


The U.S. Army is the oldest and largest branch in the U.S. military. Established in June of 1775, the men and women of the Army protect our security and resources by land, sea and air. There are elite groups within the Army such as the Army Rangers and Special Forces, who are trained specifically for advanced combat.



The U.S. Navy was founded shortly after the Army in 1775 under George Washington. The men and women of the Navy defend our right to travel and trade freely on the world’s oceans and protects national interests overseas. They are also responsible for operations both on and under the sea, in the air and on the ground. Elite groups within the Navy include the SEALs and Navy Divers.



The final branch founded in 1775, The U.S. Marine Corps play a major role in ground conflict. In fact, they are often the first on the ground in combat situations. The core values of the Marine Corps include Honor, Courage and Commitment.



The U.S. Air Force began as a subdivision of the U.S. Army, and it wasn’t until 1947 that the Air Force was recognized as its own military branch. Today, the men and women of the Air Force protect our interest at home and abroad with a focus on air power, space and cyberspace superiority.



The U.S. Coast Guard is a combination of five federal services: the U.S. Lighthouse Service, the Revenue Cutter Service, the Steamboat Inspection Service, Bureau of Navigation and the U.S. Lifesaving Service. Today, they operate under the Department of Homeland Security during times of peace, and under the Navy during wartime. The men and women of the Coast Guard protect our waterways, deploy the Navy during times of war and perform search and rescue operations as well as environmental operations.


The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund is proud to support the men and women of all branches of the U.S. military. Our commitment is to provide treatment to all service members suffering from Traumatic Brain Injuries and Post-Traumatic Stress. Your support of IFHF makes that commitment possible. Find more information on our Intrepid Spirit Centers and learn how you can get involved here.



Posted on May 16 2016 in Blog

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