Many nations around the world observe some kind of Armed Forces Day to honor their military forces. It is celebrated in the United States as a day to appreciate all active duty service members. This day is not to be confused with Veterans Day or Memorial Day.
In the United States, Armed Forces Day is celebrated on the third Saturday in May. It falls near the end of Armed Forces Week, which begins on the second Saturday of May and ends on the third Sunday of May (the fourth if the month begins on a Sunday, as in 2016).
First observed on 20 May 1950, the day was created on 31 August 1949, to honor Americans serving in the five U.S. military branches:
Following the consolidation of the military services in the U.S. Department of Defense. It was intended to replace the separate Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Days, but the separate days are still observed, especially within the respective services.
The first Armed Forces Day was celebrated by parades, open houses, receptions and air shows. The United States’ longest continuously running Armed Forces Day Parade is held in Bremerton, WA. In 2019 Bremerton will celebrate the 71st year of the Armed Forces Day Parade.