In 1949, all military forces were united under a single Department of Defense. The first Armed Forces Day announced the theme, "Teamed for Defense."
In a speech announcing the formation of the day, President Truman praised the work of the military services at home and across the seas, saying, "It is vital to the security of the nation and to the establishment of a desirable peace."
An excerpt from the Truman's Presidential Proclamation of Feb. 27, 1950, reads:
Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 20, 1950, marks the first combined demonstration by America's defense team of its progress, under the National Security Act, towards the goal of readiness for any eventuality. It is the first parade of preparedness by the unified forces of our land, sea, and air defense.
Other purposes of Armed Forces Day are to:
· To expand public understanding of the role of the military in civilian life
· To showcase state-of-the-art equipment used to protect our population
· To honor and acknowledge the people serving in the Armed Forces of the United States of America.
Armed Forces Day is now celebrated annually on the third Saturday of May.
Here's a scarey thought: When I said "Happy Armed Forces Day" to a twenty-something year-old man this morning, he replied, "I don't think I've heard of that one before."