Armed Forces Day 2021, 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.
What is Armed Forces Day?
Armed Forces Day is a day of paying tribute to and honoring members of the military. In the United States, it is celebrated annually on the third Saturday in May. It is the highlight of Armed Forces Week which starts on the second Saturday in May and ends on the Sunday after Armed Forces Day. Parades, air shows, military displays, memorial services, flag ceremonies, open days and other local celebrations are held on this day to mark the occasion.
The day was created in 1949 to replace and unify formerly separate celebration days for the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard. However, within the respective services, the separate days are still observed. Armed Forces Day is not a public holiday in the United States.
Many other countries also observe an Armed Forces Day to honor and acknowledge the men and women in their military forces. In the United Kingdom, it is held on the last Saturday in June, in Canada on the first Sunday in June and in Australia and New Zealand on ANZAC Day (April 25, a public holiday). For a list of Armed Forces Days around the world see Armed Forces Day on Wikipedia.
When is Armed Forces Day 2021?
Dates for Armed Forces Day from 2014 to 2024
|When is …?||Date||Day of the week|
|Armed Forces Day 2014||May 17, 2014||Saturday|
|Armed Forces Day 2015||May 16, 2015||Saturday|
|Armed Forces Day 2016||May 21, 2016||Saturday|
|Armed Forces Day 2017||May 20, 2017||Saturday|
|Armed Forces Day 2018||May 19, 2018||Saturday|
|Armed Forces Day 2021||May 18, 2021||Saturday|
|Armed Forces Day 2020||May 16, 2020||Saturday|
|Armed Forces Day 2021||May 15, 2021||Saturday|
|Armed Forces Day 2022||May 21, 2022||Saturday|
|Armed Forces Day 2023||May 20, 2023||Saturday|
|Armed Forces Day 2024||May 18, 2024||Saturday|
When is Armed Forces Day 2020?
Armed Forces Day 2021 USA
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 – the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force, and U.S. Coast Guard – 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 2021 Bremerton will celebrate the 71st year of the Armed Forces Day Parade.
Because of their unique training schedules, National Guard and Reserve units may celebrate Armed Forces Day/Week over any period in the month of May.
On 19 May 2017, President Donald Trump reaffirmed the Armed Forces Day holiday, marking the 70th anniversary since the creation of the Department of Defense.
Aside from the federal holiday the Armed Forces and the National Guard Bureau are honored on the following days:
- Last Monday of May: Memorial Day
- 14 June: Flag Day and Army Day (United States Army)
- 4 August: Coast Guard Day (United States Coast Guard)
- 17 September: Air Force Day (United States Air Force)
- 13 October: US Navy Birthday (United States Navy)
- 27 October: Navy Day (United States Navy)
- 10 November: Marine Corps Day (United States Marine Corps)
- 11 November: Veterans Day
- 13 December: National Guard Day (National Guard of the United States)
Armed Forces Day 2021 UK
The first Armed Forces Day in the United Kingdom took place on 27 June 2009. It replaced the previous Veterans’ Day, first observed in 2006. The date was chosen as it marked the day after the anniversary of the first investiture ceremony for the Victoria Cross military medal for heroism, held on 26 June 1857.
The 2009 celebrations were centered on Chatham Historic Dockyard – a former Royal Navy base. Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his wife Sarah, and Prince Richard, the Duke and his Duchess of Gloucester, attended as the official party, along with the head of the Unified Armed Forces, Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, and Defence Minister Kevan Jones.
The Isle of Man, a Crown Dependency, held its events a month later on 26 July 2009.
The 2010 event was centered on Cardiff and in 2011 it was Edinburgh’s turn. Smaller events were held throughout the United Kingdom.
UK Armed Forces Day 2012 was centered on Plymouth and took place on Saturday 30 June. Smaller events were held throughout the United Kingdom. The Isle of Man holds its event on Sunday 24 June.
Armed Forces Day 2021 Australia and New Zealand
ANZAC Day is a public holiday commemorated on 25 April. It is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand that broadly commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders “who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations” and “the contribution and suffering of all those who have served.
” The date commemorates the landings in 1915 at Anzac Cove on the coast of the Dardanelles and the Aegean Sea of the old Ottoman Empire (modern Turkey) by Australian and New Zealand combined military forces in the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, the beginning of the costly casualties of the Gallipoli campaign in World War I.
Armed Forces Day 2021 India
In India, Army Day is celebrated on 15 January, Navy Day is celebrated on 4 December and Air Force Day is celebrated on 8 October every year and 7 December is celebrated as Armed Forces Flag Day.
Armed Forces Day 2021 Pakistan
In Pakistan, the Federal Army, Navy and Air Force celebrate Defence Day (6 September), the Navy Day/Victory Day (8 September) and the Air Force Day (7 September) respectively. Usually, the ceremony takes place on the Resolution or Pakistan Day (23 March) when all three services display their full colors and guards of honor, as well as on Independence Day (14 August).
Armed Forces Day 2021 Finland
In Finland, Puolustusvoimain lippujuhlan päivä (English: Day of the Finnish Defence Forces; literally The Day of the Finnish Defence Forces’ flag fest) is celebrated on 4 June, which is the birthday of Marshal of Finland Gustaf Mannerheim.
During 1919–1939 it was called as “Sotaväen lippujuhlan päivä” (The Day of the Finnish Army’s flag-fest) and was celebrated on 16th as the Victory Day of the Troops of the Republic of Finland, i. e. the Whites over the Reds in the Civil War 1918.
After the Winter War, there were no need to maintain the dichotomy of Finnish society and the celebrations of 16 May were ended.
During Mannerheim’s 75th birthday the Finnish Government declared that from then on 4 June would officially celebrated as “Suomen marsalkan syntymäpäivä” (The Birthday of Marshal of Finland).
Even though the official name of the day changed soon after it is still known, also in an official context, as “The Birthday of Marshal of Finland”.