Armed Forces Day is annually the 3rd Sat of the month. Armed Forces Week starts on the 2nd Saturday of May and lasts to the 3rd Sunday of May. Memorial Day follows soon after with being the last Monday of May.
While May is usually the last push of school and college graduations (all to be celebrated!), don’t forget to remember our military and thank them when you see them!
President Harry Truman was a pioneer in honoring our military. On July 26th, 1947, he signed the National Security Act, which joined all 4 service branches (at that time) all under one umbrella. Louis Johnson, Secretary of Defense at the time, announced the creation of an Armed Forces Day on August 31st, 1949 with the intent to replace each individual service branches’ celebratory day into one single day. President Truman made Armed Forces Day official into existence via Proclamation 2873 on February 28th, 1950. The very first Armed Forces Day was scheduled for May 20th, 1950. This tribute day is not a federal holiday, but on March 18th, 1962 via Proclamation 3399 by President John. F Kennedy, Armed Forces Day became an official national holiday.
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Born: November 10th, 1775
Colors : Scarlet and Gold
Motto: Semper Fidelis (commonly heard as Semper Fi) meaning “Always Faithful,” became the Marine Corps motto in 1883. Another popular and widely recognized saying is: “The Few… The Proud… The Marines!” “Improvise, Adapt and Overcome” is very popular in the Corps. [As a future USMC wife, I can tell you, you WILL hear this often and SEE it often practiced]
Symbol(s): The Marine Corps can be easily identified by it’s unique symbol: Eagle, Globe and Anchor. It became the official symbol 1955. Why all 3? According to Marines.com: “The eagle represents the pound nation we defend. It stands at the ready with our coastlines in sight and the entire world within reach of its outstretched wings. The globe represents our worldwide presence. The anchor points both to the Marine Corps’ naval heritage and its ability to access any coastline in the world. Together, the eagle, globe and anchor symbolize our commitment to defend our nation – in the air, on land and at sea.”
What do they do: The Marines is the branch that is combat ready for anything and can be deployed anytime, whether or land, air or sea. They live by the saying “First to fight, last out.”
- Enlisted personnel are called Marines.
- The Marine Corps are the smallest of the branch services, but they certainly are mighty!
- Nicknames: Devil Dog(s), Leatherneck, Jarheads
- All Marines begin at one of 2 places: Parris Island, SC and San Diego, CA
- Once a Marine, always a Marine. There is typically no such thing as a “Former” or “Ex” Marine, however “Former Marine” or “Veteran Marine” may be used and is socially acceptable in reference who a Marine who was honorably discharged.
Oorah! – Marines
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Born: June 14th, 1775
Colors : Black and Gold
Motto: “This We’ll Defend.” A long-time running motto was “Be all that you can be.” I think we all remember that one on TV. More recently, the TV recruitment ad has changed to: “Go Army Strong.”
Symbol(s): The black and gold star
What do they do: The Army oversees all land based warfare.
- Enlisted personnel are called Soldiers.
- The Army is the largest out of all 4 major branches and out of all 7 uniformed services.
- Nicknames: Grunts, Dog Face, Ground Pounder
- The Army had 3 sections: Regular Army, Army Reserve and Army National Guard.
- Within those 3 sections, you’ll find divisions of Air Defense Artillery, Infantry, Aviation, Signal Corps, Corps of Engineering and Airmen.
Hooah! – Army
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