Armed Forces Day Honors Our Future Veterans
Just as Veterans Day is our occasion to honor all who wore a U.S. military uniform, and Memorial Day is when we remember warriors who made the ultimate sacrifice, Armed Forces Day — today, May 20 — is our time to celebrate those men and women who currently serve our nation in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard.
Although our military has been instrumental to our nation since the very beginning, Armed Forces Day is a relatively recent creation, as is our unified Department of Defense. It’s hard to imagine, but our nation actually fought World War II — in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific — without a thoroughly unified command structure. At that time, the U.S. Army was under the Department of War, our aerial combat was managed by the U.S. Army Air Corps, and the Navy had its own department with a Cabinet-level secretary.
But in 1947, President Harry S. Truman signed legislation creating a unified command, called the National Military Establishment, under the control of a secretary of defense. A 1949 law changed the title to the Department of Defense. Then, on August 31, 1949, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the establishment of Armed Forces Day to replace separate Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force days. The separate branches still maintain their separate observances, but since May 20, 1950, all branches have participated in Armed Forces Day on the third Saturday of May. It is the culmination of Armed Forces Week, which begins the previous Sunday.
Armed Forces Day doesn’t get as much recognition as Veterans Day or Memorial Day. But at Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban, we believe it is just as important to celebrate the service members of today, who will be the veterans of tomorrow.
Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban fights to help deserving veterans access disability benefits. If you have had your claim denied, call us from anywhere in the nation at 866-866-VETS or contact our office online.