The first Armed Forces Day was celebrated in 1950 as a way to boost morale.
On August 31, 1949, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson had an announcement to make.
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After World War II, the American military hierarchy was being reorganized and layoffs, at least some of them, were being eliminated. The War and Navy Departments had been merged in 1947 and called the National Military Establishment. In 1949 the name was changed to the Ministry of Defence.
To boost morale and put a new emphasis on the combined forces, Johnson would announce the creation of a day-long celebration to honor all members of the military, regardless of branch. It was known as Armed Forces Day.
In honor and to celebrate the United States military today, here are a few things you might not know about the United States military.
1. Thirty US presidents have served in the US military, 24 in wartime. Of the 30, two became five-star generals – George Washington and Dwight Eisenhower. Teddy Roosevelt received the Medal of Honor. — military.com
2. 1,760 PlayStation 3s were used to build a supercomputer for the Ministry of Defence. — escapistmagazine.com
3. Hundreds of thousands of “general purpose,” or “GP,” vehicles were made for the US military during World War II for soldiers to transport men and supplies. Today we know them as “Jeeps”.
4. The Department of Defense owns almost 30 million acres of land. — DOD
6. According to Military.com, Navy bell bottoms are believed to have been introduced in 1817 to allow men to roll them above the knee when washing decks. In addition, the pants can be used as a life jacket if you tie the legs.
7. The Marine Corps motto is “Semper Fidelis”, Latin for “Always Faithful”.
8. The last time the United States “declared war” was in 1942. — The Atlantic
9. The US Department of Defense is the nation’s largest employer. — DOD
10. The US military uses 4.6 billion US gallons of fuel per year. — Air Force Review
11. US military bases overseas do not accept pennies as currency. This practice began in Europe in the 1980s as a way to save money by eliminating the cost of shipping parts. — Los Angeles Times
12. The US military uses a near-silent type of Velcro that reduces tearing noise by over 95%. –Reddit
13. A service member in a designated combat zone or hazardous service area generally does not have to pay federal income tax on military pay and reimbursements while serving there. — Internal Revenue Service
14. In 1949, a private first class in the United States Army – known to the payroll department as E-3 – won a monthly check for $99.55 in “basic pay.” That $99.55 came after he had been in service for two years and had no dependents.
See more fun facts here.
Cox Media Group