On May 15 more than 70 countries celebrate Armed Forces Day. The day honors the serving members of the military. In the U.S. we honor the members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, and the Space Force.

In the United States, Armed Forces Day was established in August of 1949 and first celebrated on May 20, 1950, under President Truman. It was first labeled a national holiday by President Kennedy in 1962. It is celebrated on the third Saturday of May at the end of Armed Forces Week. 

In establishing the celebration, President Truman wished to convey the appreciation of the nation for the Armed Forces that protect our way of life and promote peace throughout the world and recognize our troops at home and across the sea. Celebrating Armed Forces Day was also designed as a morale boost for the troops.

The holiday was intended to replace the separate Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Days as all of the armed services fell under the newly formed Department of Defense. However, the respective services still celebrate and observe their separate day.