There are many military-related holidays throughout the year. Here is what we can celebrate in March. Take a moment to remember these days and the people each of these days will honor.
The Navy Reserve Birthday (March 3)
March 3 marks the 105th birthday of the Navy Reserve. This reserve branch had its formal start on March 3, 1915. At the start of World War One, there were 8,000 members serving in this Naval Reserve branch. By the end of the war that number had swelled to 250,000 members.
Today there are approximately 50,000 members serving in the Navy Reserve. This makes up around 20% of the assets of the US Navy.
If there is a Navy Reserve unit near you, check and see if there are any celebrations in place for the Reserve birthday!
Happy 105th Birthday US Navy Reserve!
Hug a GI Day (March 4)
March 4th is Hug a GI Day. This is not a national holiday, but it is still a day set aside to acknowledge and thank those members of the US Armed Forces for their service and sacrifice. While it is unknown when this day began, or what its origins are, it’s a nice way to thank active members and veterans for their service to our country.
Today and every day we should embrace and thank the active members and veterans of our military for all they do and have done for our freedoms.
On this day especially get out there and (with their permission, of course) hug a GI from one of the branches of our military!
K9 Veterans Day (March 13)
Dogs have been a part of military campaigns for centuries. A military working dog or military war dog (MWD) are specially trained canines that protect their humans in dangerous situations. March 13th has unofficially been set aside to acknowledge and celebrate these unique members of our military forces.
MWDs are each trained for a specific purpose. Some of the jobs they perform are:
- Finding downed airmen in snow and inaccessible regions
- Pack dogs to transport up to 40lbs of food and supplies
- Find explosives
- Find tunnels, booby traps, and mines
- Assist with guard duty
- Sentry dogs are used to apprehend suspects
- Tactical dogs are trained for combat situations
- Deliver messages during combat
- Find wounded persons on the battlefield and/or in debris
K9 Veteran’s Day is still considered an unofficial holiday. The efforts to make Marth 13th an official holiday began by Joe White who was a veteran of the Vietnam War as well as a K9 handler. After his death in October of 2009, his wife Sally continued his efforts to make K9 Veteran’s day an official holiday. It is hoped that one day it will be celebrated at military war dog memorials across the U.S.
American Legion Birthday (March 15)
March 15th is the designated birthday of the American Legion. It marks the day the first American Legion caucus convened in Paris in 1919. The American Legion is a Veteran Service Organization (VSO). They are set up to aid veterans in their community in many different ways.
According to the American Legion founding documents, their purpose includes:
- To uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America
- To maintain law and order
- To foster and perpetuate 100% Americanism
- To preserve the memories and incidents of our associations in all wars
- To inculcate a sense of individual obligation to the community, state, and nation
- To combat the autocracy of both the classes and the masses
- To make right the master of might
- To promote goodwill and peace on earth
- To safeguard and transmit to posterity the principles of justice, freedom, and democracy
- To consecrate and sanctify our comradeship by our devotion to mutual helpfulness
Each year Legions across the country hold events, parties, ceremonies to celebrate the American Legion Birthday. Check with your local Legion for any celebrations near you!
National Medal of Honor Day (March 25)
March 25th is National Medal of Honor Day. This is a day set aside to honor the Medal of Honor Recipients. Military members from all branches are awarded the Medal of Honor for distinguishing themselves “conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity” above and beyond the call of duty, according to the Depart of Veterans Affairs.
The Medal of Honor is awarded by Congress and is only awarded to military members. National Medal of Honor Day is set aside to remember the sacrifices of those men and women in uniform who have earned this highest of military honors.
Ceremonies and celebrations for National Medal of Honor Day are generally found on military bases, at national cemeteries, and in local communities.
However, if there is not a public ceremony near you, here are other ways you can celebrate and honor the Medal of Honor recipients on March 25th:
- Fly the US Flag
- “Adopt” a gravesite of an MoH recipient
- Donate to or support MoH societies, Veterans Services Organization, and/or veteran-oriented museums
Vietnam Veterans Day (March 29)
Every year, March 29th is set aside to observe Vietnam Veterans Day. It has been set aside as a way to honor and thank our Vietnam veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice during that time. Along with this show of honor and appreciation, other objectives of Vietnam Commemoration include:
- Highlighting the service of our Armed forces and the support organizations during the war
- Paying tribute to the wartime contributions at home by American citizens
- Highlighting the technology, science, and medical advances that were made during the war
- Recognizing the contributions of our Allies
Vietnam Veterans Day recognized the personnel of the U.S Armed Forces who were on active duty service between November 1, 1955, and May 15, 1975. Those numbers include:
- 9 million Americans serving during that time period
- 6.4 million who are living today
- 2.7 million U.S service members who served in Vietnam
- 58,000 names which are memorialized on the black granite wall in Washington D.C
- 304,000 who were wounded
- 1,253 who were Missing in Action (MIA) and who have yet to be returned to American soil
- 2,500 Prisoners of War (POWs)
Honor a Vietnam Veteran in your life you today!