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Armed Forces Day

May 17, 2013

Inspiring Women TimelineIn the United States, Armed Forces Day is celebrated on the third Saturday in May, near the end of Armed Forces Week. It’s our way of honoring 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. The first Armed Forces Day was in 1950, following an announcement of its creation by then U.S. Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson. Now, people across the country mark the occasion with parades, military displays, and “Support the Troops” themed motorcycle rides.

As you celebrate Armed Forces Day or Week this year, take a moment to pay tribute to the women in the military who have made a difference. Women like: Opha M. Johnson, the first woman to enlist in the Marine Corps in 1918. And Loretta Walsh—in 1917, she was the first woman to join the Navy and become a Chief Yeoman. And Colonel Oveta Culp Hobby, who, in 1945, was awarded a U.S. Army Distinguished Service Medal for her work in the Women’s Army Corps. And Annie G. Fox, a first Lieutenant in the Army Nurse Corps who became the first woman awarded a Purple Heart medal, which is only given for courageous acts of bravery.

And these are just a few. Be sure to check out our Inspiring Women Timeline to learn more about Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper, who was a pioneering computer programmer, and Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross.