Armed Forces Day Honors Our Active Military, By MRFF Board Member John Compere

“ARMED FORCES DAY” is our day of national recognition for the men and women currently serving on active duty in the five military branches – Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard. It is always the 3rd Saturday in May (May 16th this year) and, in normal times, at the end of Armed Forces week (from the 2nd Saturday in May until the 3rd Sunday).

Originally, there were separate observances for each of the military branches. The unification of our Armed Forces under the Department of Defense occurred in 1949. 33rd President Harry S. Truman, a decorated World War I veteran, led the effort establishing this special day of appreciation for all active duty military men and women, their families and the communities supporting them. The first official Armed Forces Day was held on May 20, 1950.

The importance of Armed Forces Day should be evident to all loyal Americans because our military members deserve to be recognized for their patriotic service to this country. It is always important that we acknowledge this and appreciate them. It is also a reminder of our secular military’s importance and the critical role it plays in our secular republic’s independence, freedom, security and survival.

It is significant that all armed forces members, upon entry into the military service, take a secular service oath to bear true faith and allegiance to the United States Constitution because we are one secular nation under our secular Constitution. It is the Constitution in which we must trust.

Armed Forces Day should not be confused with Memorial Day (the last Monday each May) remembering those deceased who gave their lives in the military service of this country nor Veterans Day (every November 11th ) recognizing those men and women living or dead who honorably served our nation in the military for any length of time and are no longer serving.

Our military services also have their own origination or birthday observances (Army – June 14, Navy – October 13, Marine Corps – November 10, Air Force – September 18 and Coast Guard – August 4).

As patriotic Americans, we extend genuine gratitude to all military members and their families currently serving our country, especially in these troubled times of international terrorism and perilous pandemic.

“I regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” – Nathan Hale (American Revolutionary)

“God grants liberty only to those who love it and are always ready to guard and defend it.” – Daniel Webster (American Statesman)

“There is nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer.” – Jimmy Doolittle (American General)

“Our Servicemen and women are serving throughout the world as guardians of peace – many of them away from their homes, their friends and their families…..They are also evidence of a harsh and but inescapable truth – that the survival of freedom requires great cost and commitment, and great personal sacrifice.” – John F. Kennedy (American President)

“It doesn’t take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle.” – Norman Schwarzkopf (American Commander)

“How important it is to recognize our heroes and she-roes!” – Maya Angelo (American Poet)


John Compere
Brigadier General, US Army (Retired)
Disabled American Veteran (Vietnam Era)
Board Member, Military Religious Freedom Foundation
Texas rancher



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