Armed Forces Day

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Armed Forces Day in Azerbaijan. Ilham Aliyev attended the parade 10.jpg
Armed Forces Day in Azerbaijan.
An Anzac Day National Commemoratice Service at the National War Memorial in Wellington. 20120425 WN S1015650 0041.jpg - Flickr - NZ Defence Force.jpg
An Anzac Day National Commemoratice Service at the National War Memorial in Wellington.
Tajik National Army Day. Tajik National Army Day 02.jpg
Tajik National Army Day.
Polish President Lech Kaczynski reviewing troops during an armed forces day parade in Warsaw in 2007. Polish president with army.PNG
Polish President Lech Kaczyński reviewing troops during an armed forces day parade in Warsaw in 2007.

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.

Military Organization primarily tasked with preparing for and conducting war

A military is a heavily-armed, highly-organised force primarily intended for warfare, also known collectively as armed forces. It is typically officially authorized and maintained by a sovereign state, with its members identifiable by their distinct military uniform. It may consist of one or more military branches such as an Army, Navy, Air Force and in certain countries, Marines and Coast Guard. The main task of the military is usually defined as defence of the state and its interests against external armed threats. Beyond warfare, the military may be employed in additional sanctioned and non-sanctioned functions within the state, including internal security threats, population control, the promotion of a political agenda, emergency services and reconstruction, protecting corporate economic interests, social ceremonies and national honor guards.

Veterans Day federal holiday in the United States

Veterans Day is an official United States public holiday observed annually on November 11, for honoring military veterans, that is, persons who have served in the United States Armed Forces. It coincides with other holidays including Armistice Day and Remembrance Day which are celebrated in other countries that mark the anniversary of the end of World War I. Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the Armistice with Germany went into effect. At the urging of major U.S. veteran organizations, Armistice Day was renamed Veterans Day in 1954.

Memorial Day United States Federal Holiday remembering those who died in military service

Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering and honoring people who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. The holiday, which is currently observed every year on the last Monday of May, was most recently held on May 28, 2018. Memorial Day was previously observed on May 30 from 1868 to 1970.



In Argentina, the commemorative dates of the Armed Forces are as follows:


Բանակի օր (English: Army Day) is celebrated on 28 January to commemorate the formation of the armed forces of the newly independent Republic of Armenia in 1992. [1]

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." [2] [3] 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.

Australia Country in Oceania

Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 25 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

New Zealand Country in Oceania

New Zealand is a sovereign island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses—the North Island, and the South Island —and around 600 smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long period of isolation, New Zealand developed a distinct biodiversity of animal, fungal, and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.

Dardanelles strait in northwestern Turkey

The Dardanelles, also known from Classical Antiquity as the Hellespont (; Greek: Ἑλλήσποντος, Hellespontos, literally "Sea of Helle"), is a narrow, natural strait and internationally significant waterway in northwestern Turkey that forms part of the continental boundary between Europe and Asia, and separates Asian Turkey from European Turkey. One of the world's narrowest straits used for international navigation, the Dardanelles connects the Sea of Marmara with the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas, while also allowing passage to the Black Sea by extension via the Bosphorus. The Dardanelles is 61 kilometres (38 mi) long, and 1.2 to 6 kilometres wide, averaging 55 metres (180 ft) deep with a maximum depth of 103 metres (338 ft) at its narrowest point abreast the city of Çanakkale.

There is also a Reserve Forces Day in Australia first celebrated in 1998 for "the 50th anniversary of the reforming of the Citizen Military Forces after World War II on 1 July 1948 and Reserve service. The date of the first of July was chosen as the official date of Reserve Forces Day with the celebrations being held on that day or the weekend before or following that date." [4]


Silahlı Qüvvələr Günü (English: Day of the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan ) is celebrated on 26 June. The events are centered around a military parade in Baku, the national capital. The annual parade is one of the biggest in the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Day of the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan

Day of the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan - is annually celebrated on June 26, in Azerbaijan, by the Decree issued by Heydar Aliyev, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Military parade

A military parade is a formation of soldiers whose movement is restricted by close-order manoeuvering known as drilling or marching. The military parade is now almost entirely ceremonial, though soldiers from time immemorial up until the late 19th century fought in formation. Massed parades may also hold a role for propaganda purposes, being used to exhibit the apparent military strength of one's nation.

Baku Capital city in Azerbaijan

Baku is the capital and largest city of Azerbaijan, as well as the largest city on the Caspian Sea and of the Caucasus region. Baku is located 28 metres (92 ft) below sea level, which makes it the lowest lying national capital in the world and also the largest city in the world located below sea level. Baku lies on the southern shore of the Absheron Peninsula, alongside the Bay of Baku. At the beginning of 2009, Baku's urban population was estimated at just over two million people. Officially, about 25 percent of all inhabitants of the country live in Baku's metropolitan area. Baku is the sole metropolis in Azerbaijan.


Bangladesh observes Armed Forces Day on 21 November to mark the occasion of the Tri- Services joint operation against occupying Pakistani forces in the Liberation War, 1971. The day starts with laying of a floral wreath at 'Sikha Anirban' (Eternal Flame) at Dhaka Cantonment by the President, the Prime Minister and the service chiefs. In the afternoon a reception is held at Senakunja, Dhaka Cantonment where the Prime Minister, ministers, the leader of the opposition and other high civil and military officials attend. In other cantonments, naval bases, and air bases, similar receptions are held. A special TV programme Anirban is broadcast on different TV channels the previous evening, and special newspaper supplements are published with national dailies. Receptions are also held by the Prime Minister and the service chiefs for recipients of the gallantry award Freedom Fighter Award. Special meals for family members are served in all military stations. The Armed Forces Division also brings out a special publication with articles related to the War of Independence and the armed forces.

Bangladesh Liberation War Conflict that led to the independence of the majority-Bengali country

The Bangladesh Liberation War, also known as the Bangladesh War of Independence, or simply the Liberation War in Bangladesh, was a revolution and armed conflict sparked by the rise of the Bengali nationalist and self-determination movement in what was then East Pakistan during the 1971 Bangladesh genocide. It resulted in the independence of the People's Republic of Bangladesh. The war began after the Pakistani military junta based in West Pakistan launched Operation Searchlight against the people of East Pakistan on the night of 25 March 1971. It pursued the systematic elimination of nationalist Bengali civilians, students, intelligentsia, religious minorities and armed personnel. The junta annulled the results of the 1970 elections and arrested Prime minister-designate Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The war ended on 16 December 1971 after West Pakistan surrendered.

Dhaka Cantonment is a cantonment located in the northern part of Dhaka, Bangladesh. The headquarters of the Bangladesh Army Navy and Air Force are situated within this cantonment. The Cantonment is located on the north-east end of the Dhaka metropolis. The train station is also one of the termini of the Bangladesh-India Maitree Express train service.

A cantonment is a military or police quarters.


Bolivian Armed Forces Day (Dia de las Fuerzas Armadas de Bolivia) is marked on 7 August, the day after Independence Day, as it was the day in 1826 when Bolivia's first President, Antonio José de Sucre, officially gave his sanction to the creation of the Armed Forces of Bolivia.


In Brazil, the commemorative dates of the Armed Forces are as follows: [5]

Marinha do Brasil (English: Brazilian Navy ):

Exército Brasileiro (English: Brazilian Army ):

Força Aérea Brasileira (English: Brazilian Air Force ):


The Day of Bravery and Bulgarian Armed Forces Day is commemorated every year on 6 May, The Feast of Saint George, who is the patron saint of the Bulgarian Armed Forces. The national parade is held on Prince Alexander of Battenberg Square in Sofia, the national capital city, on this day, with the salute taken by the President of Bulgaria, the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.


In Canada, Canadian Armed Forces Day (French: Journée des forces armées canadiennes) is celebrated on the first Sunday in June and is a celebration of Canada's armed services, their heritage, and their personnel. [6] [7] Official congratulations are given by the Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian Forces, the Prime Minister of Canada, the Minister of National Defence, and the Chief of the Defence Staff. An inspection of an inter-service guard of honour is commonplace during the holiday. Tributes to CF personnel usually happen at the National War Memorial and the Canadian Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Ottawa. The event is similar to the Remembrance Day celebrations in the fall. Canadian Armed Forces Day is not a public holiday in Canada.


In Chile, Día de las Glorias del Ejército (Army Day) is a national holiday celebrated every 19 September, a day after the independence day, with the "Parada Militar", a parade where all the branches of the armed forces display some of their troops and equipment in a special part of "Parque O'Higgins" in Santiago. Several other smaller parades can be seen on other cities of the country, as well as air displays by the air force, on Independence Day, 18 September.

For the Chilean Navy, its counterpart is the national Día de las Glorias de la Armada (Navy Day) celebrations on 21 May, in honor of the double anniversaries of the Battle of Iquique and the Battle of Punta Gruesa in 1879. Valparaiso is where the main celebrations are concentrated, with a military parade in the morning and the President of Chile's State of the Nation address in the afternoon. Similar parades are hosted in major and minor cities and towns nationwide.

China (People's Republic of China)

The People's Liberation Army Day (Chinese :中国人民解放军建军纪念日) is celebrated in the People's Republic of China on 1 August in commemoration of the founding of the People's Liberation Army during the Nanchang Uprising of 1927. On 30 June 1933, the Central Committee for Military Revolutionary Cases of the Communist Party of China (CPC) voted to declare 1 August an annual holiday. This was solidified on 11 July of that same year, when this decision was approved by the government of the Chinese Soviet Republic. Since then, the date has been celebrated as the professional holiday and birthday of the PLA.


In Croatia, the commemorative dates of the Armed Forces are as follows:

Oružane snage Republike Hrvatske (English: Republic of Croatia Armed Forces ):

Hrvatska kopnena vojska (English: Croatian Army );

Hrvatska ratna mornarica (English: Croatian Navy );

Hrvatsko ratno zrakoplovstvo i protuzračna obrana (English: Croatian Air Force and Defense ).

The entire Croatian Armed Forces are also honored on 5 August, Victory and Homeland Defenders Day and Day of the Defenders of Croatia, celebrating the anniversary of the 1995 Operation Storm.


The Day of the Cuban Armed Forces is celebrated on 2 December to commemorate the landing of the Granma in 1956. [8] The first ever military parade in years to be held on the holiday was marked in 2006, the parade on 2 January 2017 (postponed for 1 month due to the Death and state funeral of Fidel Castro) will be the second and will be the final event marking the diamond jubilee since the events of 1956.

Dominican Republic

Día de las Fuerzas Armadas (English: Armed forces day) is celebrated on 25 February to commemorate the anniversary of the armed forces of the Dominican Republic. It is also the day of birth of Matías Ramón Mella, who is regarded as a national hero in the Dominican Republic and fired the first shot with his blunderbuss to proclaim, along with other patriots, the Independence from Haiti on 27 February 1844. On 27 February a military parade is held to commemorate the Independence anniversary.


In Egypt, Armed Forces Day is celebrated on 6 October, the date on which the October War of 1973 began with the Egyptian Army's successful crossing of the Suez Canal that culminated in the capture of the Bar Lev Line. [9]


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 official context, as "The Birthday of Marshal of Finland". [10] [11]


During France's national day, France honors its armed forces during the military parade of the 14 July, which is the oldest and largest military parade in Europe. [12]


Georgia marks its Armed Forces Day (Georgian :შეიარაღებული ძალების დღე) on 30 April to commemorate the foundation of the Georgian Armed Forces in 1991. [13]


Greece marks its Armed Forces Day (Greek : Ημέρα των Ενόπλων Δυνάμεων) on 21 November, on the day of the Presentation of Mary. [14]


In Guatemala, Día del Ejército is celebrated on 30 June. It is remembered because in 1871 the Liberal Revolution or "Revolución Liberal", led by Miguel García Granados and Justo Rufino Barrios, and composed of personnel of the Guatemalan Army, marched on the streets of Guatemala City and captured the Presidential palace, putting an end to the Conservadora administration formerly headed by Rafael Carrera, marking the start of a new era in Guatemalan history. Parades are held in honor of the holiday in Guatemala City and in other major towns nationwide.


In Haiti, Le Jour de La Battaille Des Vertieres is celebrated on 18 November in celebration of the victory of the indigenous slave African and Gens de couleur versus the European forces led by France with support from United States and Spain.


In Hungary, the Patriots and Homeland Defenders Day is celebrated on 21 May, honoring all those serving in the Hungarian Defence Force.


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.


Hari Tentara Nasional Indonesia (English: Indonesian National Armed Forces Day) abbreviated HUT TNI is celebrated on the 5 October, the day of the foundation of the Tentara Keamanan Rakyat (People's Security Armed Forces), the predecessor of the TNI, in 1945, itself a replacement for the Badan Keamanan Rakyat (People's Security Corps) established on 29 August on the same year. Military parades are held nationwide in major cities and provincial capitals in honor of the TNI's serving men and women and military veterans.


Rouz-e Artesh (English: Army Day) is celebrated on 18 April, the establishment day of the army. Exhibitions of the Iranian Army, such as a military parade of active personnel and veterans in the presence of the President of Iran in front of the Mausoleum of Ruhollah Khomeini, takes place during the holiday events.


Iraqi Armed Forces Day is celebrated on 6 January, and marks the anniversary of the activation of the Iraqi Army on 6 January 1921. [15]


Yom Hazikaron (English: Memorial Day) is observed on the 4th day of the month of Iyar of the Hebrew calendar or May in the Gregorian Calendar, always preceding the next day's celebrations of Israel Independence Day, Yom Ha-Atzma'ut, on the 5th day of Iyar, the anniversary of the Proclamation of the State of Israel in 1948.


Giorno delle Forze Armate (English: Armed Forces Day) is celebrated on 4 November to remember the Italian victory in the First World War. On 4 November 1918, Austrian-Hungarian forces agreed to a cease fire, thus ending the war on Italian front.

The following service holidays are celebrated all over the Italian Armed Forces:


In Japan, following the end of World War II, the Self-Defense Forces Day (Japanese: 自衛隊記念日; Romaji: Jiei-tai Kinen'bi) is held every year since 1966. [16] It celebrates the foundation of the Japan Self-Defense Forces. The GSDF, MSDF and ASDF hold annual reviews in rotation (the GSDF a full military parade, the ASDF an airshow and the MSDF a fleet review) set in a designated day in October. [17] There is also a three-day music event called the SDF Marching Festival. The date varies per year. [18]

Empire of Japan

In the Empire of Japan, Army Commemoration Day (Japanese: 陸軍記念日; Romaji: Riku-gun Kinen'bi) was celebrated every 10 March, in commemoration of the Japanese victory in the Battle of Mukden. Similarly, Navy Commemoration Day (Japanese: 海軍記念日; Romaji: Kai-gun Kinen'bi) was celebrated every 24 May in commemoration of the Japanese victory in the Battle of Tsushima. These days were celebrated from 1906 until the end of World War II in 1945.


The Defender of the Fatherland Day of Kazakhstan is observed on 7 May to mark the founding of the Armed Forces of Kazakhstan on 7 May 1992 after the fall of the USSR.


The Anniversary of The Lao Army was observed annually every 20 January to celebrate the creation of the independent Lao army on 20 January 1949. Every year, large posters are placed to remind that date which was marks the first step towards full independence and domination of the Lao Communist Party. [19]


The Latvian National Armed Forces Day is marked every 10 July, a day when in 1919 Latvia's Independent and Northlatvian brigades where united in one formation under the command of General David Simanson,


Lebanese Armed Forces (Armed Forces Day) is celebrated on 1 August.


Mali Army Day is celebrated on 20 January. [20]


Hari Angkatan Tentera Malaysia (English: Malaysian Armed Forces Day) is celebrated on 16 September.


Mauritanian Armed Forces Day is celebrated on 10 July. Armed forces day is marked with events of national importance, such as flag raising ceremonies, awards ceremonies and military parades. It was established in 1960 by President Moktar Ould Daddah as a professional holiday for the armed forces, replacing the holidays of the separate branches of the armed forces, as well as resembling the Remembrance Day celebrations in the United Kingdom. It is not a public holiday in the country. [21]


Mexican Armed Forces Day (Spanish: Día de las Fuerzas Armadas Mexicanas) is celebrated on 19 February since 1950, in commemoration of the decree that created them in 1917.


Soldier's Day (Mongolian : Цэргийн баяр) is celebrated on 18 March annually. On 18 March 1921, Sükhbaatar's troops succeeded in taking the town, despite being heavily outnumbered. This day is now the official holiday of Mongolia's army, and is usually celebrated as the equivalent of Defender of the Fatherland Day in Russia, or the male version of International Women's Day. [22]


In Myanmar, Armed Forces Day (တပ်မတော်နေ့) is celebrated on 27 March in commemoration of the start of Burmese army's resistance to Japanese occupation in 1945. Originally, it was Armed Forces Day, but not Resistance Day (တော်လှန်ရေးနေ့).


In Nigeria, Armed Forces Day, also known as Remembrance Day, is celebrated on 15 January. It was formerly celebrated on 11 November of every year to coincide with the Remembrance Day (Poppy Day) for the World War II veterans in the British Commonwealth of Nations. But it was changed to 15 January in Nigeria in commemoration of the surrender of Biafran troops to the Federal troops on 15 January 1970, thus concluding the Nigerian Civil War that sought to tear apart the unity of Nigeria. [23]

North Korea

In North Korea, the Military Foundation Day is celebrated on 25 April, in commemoration of the day of the creation of the Korean People's Army (KPA) [24] in 1932. On that holiday North Korea holds a national commemorative assembly in Pyongyang and various commemorative events, firepower demonstrations, concerts and the military parade. Since 23 April 1996 when the Central People's Committee issued an ordinance making it a national holiday, both the entire military and civilians are permitted to take off from work to celebrate all those serving in the KPA and its veterans.

Additionally, since 2015, the KPA and its veterans are honored on People's Army Day, 8 February, to commemorate the official formation of the regular forces of the KPA in 1948.

North Macedonia

The Day of Macedonian Army is celebrated on 18 August. This date is chosen because on 18 August 1943, the battalion Mirče Acev was formed at the Slavej Mountain. It was the first organized battalion to fight against the fascist forces in World War II in North Macedonia. The day is not a national holiday, but is celebrated with a manifestation at one of the Army's barracks, where the President, the Speaker of the Assembly, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defense are always present. Usually there is a parade of the armed forces and an exhibition of the weapons and vehicles of the Army.


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 colours and guards of honour, as well as on Independence Day (14 August).


In Peru, the Día de las Fuerzas Armadas del Perú (English: Peruvian Armed Forces Day) is celebrated on 24 September, the feast of the Virgin of Mercy, patroness of the Armed Forces. The day for the Peruvian Army itself is 9 December, commemorating Peru's victory in the Battle of Ayacucho, which ended the Peruvian War of Independence, while for the Peruvian Navy, Navy Day is on 8 October, the double anniversary of the 1821 foundation of the Navy and the Battle of Angamos in 1879.

Air Force Day is held on 23 July, the anniversary of the death of Peruvian Air Force Lieutenant José Quiñones Gonzales during the 1941 Ecuadorian-Peruvian war.

The Great Military Parade of Peru is held on the day after Independence Day, 29 July, and this is where all 3 services of the Armed Forces are also honored.


Armed Forces Day (Filipino: Araw ng Hukbong Sandatahang Lakas, Spanish: Dia de las Fuerzas Armadas del Filipinas) is observed on 21 December, the anniversary of the official founding of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in 1935 in accordance with CA No. 1 (National Defense Act of 1935).


In Poland, the Święto Wojska Polskiego (English: Polish Armed Forces Day) is celebrated annually on 15 August. Begun in 1923, the day commemorated the anniversary of Poland's 1920 victory over Soviet Russia at the Battle of Warsaw in the Polish-Soviet War. [25] The holiday was discontinued during the communist era in 1947, only to be revived again after the return of democracy in 1992. [26]


In Romania, the Armed Forces Day is celebrated on 25 October – on this day, in 1944, the Romanian Land Forces retook Carei, the last Romanian city under joint German-Hungarian occupation.

The Romania–Hungary border had been reached a few days earlier, but the troops rested, completing the reoccupation of Romania. [27] [28]

Russian Federation

In Russia, the День защитника Отечества / Dyen' zaschitnika Otechestva (English: Defender of the Fatherland Day ) is celebrated on 23 February, honoring all those serving in the Russian Armed Forces. In the Soviet Union there was День Советской Армии / Dyen' Sovetskoy Armi'i (Day of the Soviet Army), celebrated on the same date.

In Russia the following holidays are celebrated by military personnel, veterans and the general public:


Dan Vojske Srbije ( Serbian Armed Forces Day) is marked on 23 April, the anniversary of the beginning of the 1815 Second Serbian Uprising which began the long road towards the restoration of Serbian independence after years of Ottoman occupation.


In Singapore, Singapore Armed Forces Day falls on 1 July each year. The practice began in 1969, just several years after Singapore separated from Malaysia to become a sovereign nation. The day is marked by a parade and a re-affirmation of the pledge of loyalty [30] by all members of the Singapore Armed Forces on parade. [31] [32] On that day, the outgoing colour bearer of the Singapore Army hands over the State Colour of the Army to a new colour bearer from the Army's Best Combat Unit of the year.

South Korea

In South Korea, 국군의 날 (English: Armed Forces Day) falls on 1 October, the day that South Korean forces broke through the 38th parallel in 1950 during the Korean War. It is not a national holiday or public day off, but a National Flag Raising Day (국기게양일) to recognize and honor the active and reserve servicemen and women and veterans of the Republic of Korea Armed Forces.


Armed Forces Day (Spanish: Día de las Fuerzas Armadas) is observed in Spain since 1978. [33] It started as a purely military celebration, but became with time a more colourful and popular event, the central acts of which are held each year at a different city. [34] Since 1987 it is observed the Saturday nearest to 30 May, feast-day of Saint Ferdinand, King. [35]

The Armed Forces and those killed in service are also honoured at the celebrations of Spain's National Day (12 October).

Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka each armed services celebrates its own Army Day (10 October), the Navy Day (9 December) and the Air Force Day (2 March) respectively. However all armed services celebrate Independence Day (4 February) with a military parade in which they display their full colours. [36] Since 2010, the armed services also hold parades on Victory and Remembrance Day (18 May), in honour of the armed forces fallen, heroes and veterans of the Sri Lankan Civil War.

South Africa

Armed Forces Day for the South African National Defence Force is celebrated on 21 February, the day of the 1993 reconstitution of the South African Defence Force into its current identity. It has been celebrated with parades nationwide since 2012. Since 2017, the Armed Forces Day event also honors the fallen of the tragic 1917 sinking of SS Mendi, which carried South African forces into the frontlines during the First World War, resulting in one of the biggest military losses ever in South African military history.

Taiwan / Republic of China (ROC)

The Armed Forces Day (Chinese :軍人節) is celebrated in the Republic of China on the western Pacific island of Taiwan (formerly called Formosa when under Japanese occupation), on 3 September, on the same day as their Victory over Japan Day (1945). Pursuant to Article 5 of the Order to Implement Commemoration Days and Holidays (紀念日及節日實施辦法), the Ministry of National Defense (國防部) determines how to allow a day off for the military personnel. This is not a public holiday in the Republic of China on Taiwan, but relevant institutions, groups, and schools may hold celebrating activities. [37]


Рӯзи Артиши Миллӣ Тоҷик (English: Tajik National Army Day) is celebrated on 23 February to commemorate the formation of the Armed Forces of Tajikistan in 1993. The main celebrations are held in Dushanbe, with the President of Tajikistan, in his/her capacity as Supreme Commander in Chief, takes the salute at a wreath laying ceremony in Victory Park. Military parades have been held on Armed Forces Day on jubilee years (2003 and 2013 for example). [38] [39]

The following service branches also have their own professional holidays:


Thailand honours the Royal Thai Armed Forces on 18 January, the very day King Naresuan won Yuddhahatthi or Elephant Battle against Mingyi Swa (grandson of Bayinnaung) in 1592 at Nong Sarai, Suphanburi. This is honored with massive military parades in various parts of the country. The main celebrations are in Bangkok and on behalf of the Royal Family of Thailand, the Chief of Defence Forces takes the salute on this day's parade.


For the entire Armed Forces of Ukraine, Armed Forces Day (Ukrainian : День Збройних сил України) is celebrated on 6 December, with fireworks displays and gun salutes nationwide. [44] This holiday was established in 1993 by a resolution passed by the Verkhovna Rada. [45]

Other military holidays in Ukraine include:

United Kingdom

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. [46] [47] [48] 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. [49]

The 2009 celebrations were centred on Chatham Historic Dockyard – a former Royal Navy base. The 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. [50]

The 2010 event was centred on Cardiff and in 2011 it was Edinburgh's turn. Smaller events were held throughout the United Kingdom. [51] [52] [53]

UK Armed Forces Day 2012 was centred 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.

United States

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 2019 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. [54] [55] [56]

Aside from the Armed Forces Day the Armed Forces and the National Guard Bureau are honored on the following days:


Venezuela celebrates Army Day on 24 June, the anniversary of Simón Bolívar's victory in the Battle of Carabobo, which led to Venezuela's independence from Spain. [57]

Navy Day , honoring the 1823 Battle of Lake Maracaibo, is celebrated on the same day as the birthday of Simón Bolívar, 24 July.[ citation needed ]

The Venezuelan Air Force marks Air Force Day on 27 November every year, honoring the role of Venezuelan military aviation in national history (the date, used since 2010, is in remembrance of the 2nd of the 1992 Venezuelan coup d'état attempts in which the Air Force took part). From 1946 till 2009, 10 December was celebrated as Air Force Day in honor of the birth of national military aviation with the 1920 opening of the Air Force Academy in Maracay.[ citation needed ]

National Guard Day is celebrated on 3 August, the date of the 1936 founding of the Venezuelan National Guard. The entire Venezuelan National Armed Forces are also honored on Independence Day, 5 July, which is also earmarked as National Armed Forces Day.[ citation needed ]


In Vietnam, People's Army Day is celebrated on 22 December, the day of the 1944 foundation of the People's Army of Vietnam. This is not a public holiday, but relevant celebrations are held nationwide to celebrate the occasion.[ citation needed ]

South Vietnam

The Armed Forces Day of South Vietnam was celebrated from 1965 to 1974 on 19 June; the holiday is still celebrated internationally by former South Vietnamese military veterans. [58]

See also

Related Research Articles

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