Before 1950, each branch of the military was celebrated on its own day. Now we celebrate the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Reserves on the third Saturday in May. Armed Forces Day is a great time to help veterans in your community and say thank you. Whether you shake a veteran's hand and thank them for their service or you donate to a veteran's organization today, there are many ways to show your support.
Learn More About The Military
In addition to helping veterans in your community, today is a great time to learn more about the important role the military plays. Here are 10 interesting things you may not have known about the armed forces.
- The Department of Defense (DoD) is the largest employer in the U.S. There are more than 1.4 million active-duty personnel, 1.1 million National Guard and Reserve personnel and 700,000 civilians working for the DoD.
- 31 of the 44 presidents have served in the military. President Teddy Roosevelt earned the Medal of Honor, the highest honor in the military. The only enlisted President who didn't become an officer was James Buchanan.
- The U.S. Military is one of the largest providers of international aid and disaster relief. Ships called Marine Expeditionary Units patrol the oceans watching for signs of danger and can reach the shoreline of nearly any location on Earth within 48 hours.
- The DoD owns nearly 30 million acres of land worldwide. In the U.S., it is the single largest consumer of energy.
- Only 28 percent of Americans ages 17-23 are eligible for military service. Nearly 1.4 million Americans, or .4 percent of the U.S. population, are active military personnel.
- Military uniforms are not covered by taxpayers. In boot camp, military personnel are given an allowance for their uniforms. However, this comes out of their paycheck. Military members also have to pay for the medals they earn, which can range from $15 to $60 each.
- Military members are more highly educated than the general population. Those who enlist are required to have a high school diploma or a GED. That means that 99 percent of the military has a high school education. On the other hand, only 60 percent of the general population has a high school education.
- The Lewis and Clark Expedition that mapped out the west would not have happened without the U.S. Army. We may remember them only as explorers, but the members of the expedition were actually a small Army unit.
- The U.S. military began to desegregate long before civilian institutions. Schools and other public institutions were ordered to desegregate in 1954, but many lagged behind into the 1980s. The Army, on the other hand, had the first desegregated troops during WWI.
- The first time women were allowed to enlist in a non-nursing role was during WWI. The first women in the military worked in clerical roles and as Signal Corps operators. This allowed more men to take on combat roles. In 1948, President Harry Truman signed an anti-discrimination bill. This attempted to put an end to racial discrimination in the military, but also discrimination against women joining the military. This bill allowed women to enlist in times of peace, rather than just war time.
Donate Your Car On Armed Forces Day
Learning more about the armed forces forms a better understanding of just how important veterans have been in shaping our history and fighting for our freedom. One easy way to give back to veterans is to donate your car to Vehicles For Veterans. We're a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization benefiting disabled veterans. Your car donation is a great way to support veterans' programs, but it also gives you a great tax deduction.
A lot of people wait until December to make their charitable contributions, but you can get started right now! Donating a car only takes a few minutes when you call us at 1-855-811-4838 or fill out an online car donation form.