Military Observances

Find out the different military observances and the differences between each day.

Armed Forces Day. Observed the third Saturday in May, this day is for all who currently serve and all who have served, both active and former, in the reserves, National Guard or on active duty, including the Coast Guard.  It replaced separate days that honored various branches of the military (Army, Air Force and Navy).

Veterans Day. Celebrated annually on November 11, this day of observance is for all living and deceased who have served in the military.

Memorial Day. Celebrated annually on the last Monday in May, this day of observance is for all who died while serving

National Guard Birthday Celebrated December 13, honors all citizen-soldiers who have civilian jobs but are available to provide support and protection for the states’ civilians. They may be called for military operations at a national level.

Within this Collection

Tankbusters: Introduction
Episode 1


Meet Lieutenant Colonel Joel "Rally" Rush, U.S. Air Force, retired. Rush introduces himself, and briefly discusses his career and job duties in the military.
Persian Gulf War, Part 4
Episode 4


Saddam Hussein’s elite Republican Guard forces were on the run from American and British Army armored divisions. After the allied victory at the Battle of Medina Ridge, Saddam was afraid that the...
Persian Gulf War, Part 3
Episode 3


The United States and the United Nations responded quickly to Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait. With multiple United Nations sanctions, and chances to leave, Saddam refused to withdraw his military...
Persian Gulf War, Part 2
Episode 2


Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein earned notoriety for his brutal suppression of political dissidents, oppression of Kurds living in northern Iraq, and his desire for nuclear weapons. World criticism did...
Persian Gulf War, Part 1
Episode 1


Saddam Hussein instigated the Persian Gulf War with his invasion of Iraq’s next door neighbor Kuwait on August 2, 1990. The introductory segment of this edition of History In A Nutshell sets the stage...