The selfless men and women of the United States military fight for our freedom every day and enable us to lead relatively peaceful lives, so it comes as no surprise that Armed Forces Day is a day to pay special tribute to them, no matter which branch they serve. On Saturday, we’ll celebrate this well-known military holiday approximately 66 years after it was established by Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson in 1949.

In short, Armed Forces Day was created to replace Army, Navy and Air Force Days. The single-day celebration stemmed from the unification of the armed forces under one agency: the Department of Defense (

To honor this special day, here are some facts you may not know about the United States military. And if you really want to pay homage to your favorite heroes, be sure to shop our military uniform costumes on Spirit Halloween’s Freedom Fighters page!

  1. The United States Department of Defense is the world’s largest employer. – DoD
  2. Less than 28% of Americans between the ages of 17-23 are qualified for military service (that’s about 1-in-4). –
  3. There are 1.8 million people on active duty, according to the Department of Defense. – DoD
  4. The United States has 737 military installations overseas. – DoD
  5. The Air Force’s F-117 fighter uses aerodynamics discovered during research into how bumblebees fly. –
  6. The Navy’s trousers can be used as a life preserver if you knot the legs. –
  7. The last time the United States declared war was in 1942. – Wikipedia
  8. 30 American presidents served in the Army, 24 during a time of war. Of the 30, two became five-star generals: George Washington and Dwight Eisenhower. Teddy Roosevelt was awarded the Medal of Honor. –
  9. The military uses a nearly silent type of Velcro that reduces the ripping noise by over 95%. – Reddit
  10. The Coast Guard is smaller than the New York City Police Department. –