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SatOct 26

National Day of the Deployed – October 26, 2024

National Day of the Deployed on October 26 is our day to say “Thank You” to all military serving outside the US and to their families who keep things running at home in their absence It’s hard to imagine a more challenging military assignment than one taking our servicemen and women to countries all over the world, far away from home. Unless you know someone currently serving outside the US, the sacrifices they make throughout deployment are difficult to comprehend. Read on for some simple ways to recognize, support, and encourage our amazing U.S. troops.

History of National Day of the Deployed

National Day of the Deployed dates back to 2006 when Shelle Michaels Aberle approached then North Dakota Governor John Hoeven to support a proclamation for a day to honor those men and women actively serving in the military outside the U.S. Hoeven was the first governor in the United States to recognize deployed troops through a formal proclamation. October 26 was chosen as the annual date of observance because it was the birthday of Aberle’s cousin, U.S. Army Lt. Col. David Hosna, actively serving in Iraq at the time.

In 2011, Hoeven, then a U.S. senator, sponsored a resolution designating October 26 as National Day of the Deployed, which passed unanimously. Since then, all 50 states have officially observed the holiday.

Deployments can last anywhere from 90 days to 15 months. Having a loved one actively serving a deployment brings numerous challenges. Extended periods of time away from home and not knowing where your loved one may be are just a couple of the stressors. Today, take a moment to remember, honor and thank the dedication our deployed military displays for our country.

National Day of the Deployed timeline

Mexican-American War

Over a boundary dispute, President Polk deployed US troops to Mexico resulting in the U.S. taking sovereignty over present-day Texas and other territories.

Korean War

During the last year of America’s active combat with North Korea, we had over 300,000 soldiers deployed.

American-led Intervention in Iraq

The number of US soldiers in Iraq peaks at 170,000.

Around the World Today

Today, around 170,000 servicemen and women, or 12% of our total active-duty military, are deployed outside the U.S.

National Day of the Deployed FAQs

How can families keep in touch with a deployed military member?

There are many ways families can keep in touch with loved ones on deployment including phone, video phone, email, other online methods such as Facebook, military networks, and snail mail.

Will family members know where their loved one is assigned?

For safety purposes, families may not always know where their family members are. There are an estimated 40,000 active servicemen and women on classified assignments today.

How many military members have children?

Over one-third of our active duty servicemen and women have children; there are over 980,000 children in our military families today.

How to Observe National Day of the Deployed

  1. Send a care package

    Servicemen and women enjoy receiving care packages. The United States Postal Service offers tips on how to best pack and ship them, particularly if shipping to another country, so be sure to check out their website. Plan to send items such as playing cards, baseball caps, magazines, toiletries, and snacks such as gum and beef jerky. You can also donate money to organizations that will purchase, pack, and ship the care packages for you.

  2. Help the families of our deployed military

    If you know someone who has a loved one currently deployed, you can do several things to support them. Are you handy? Offer to help with repairs around the house or yard work. Offering to cook a meal or babysit also takes the load of a little.

  3. Display a yellow ribbon

    Yellow ribbons are a sign you are remembering someone serving far away from home and looking forward to their safe return. Tie one around a tree or mailbox or display it on your front porch.

5 Intriguing Stats About The US Active Duty Military

  1. ​By Branch

    As of the end of 2018, our active duty service members totaled over 1.3 million with 36% serving in the Army, 25% Navy, 25% Air Force, and 14% Marine Corps.

  2. ​By Gender

    Women make up 16.5% of our active-duty military.

  3. ​By Location

    ​Of the total population deployed outside the US, only 0.2% are within the Western Hemisphere; all others are on the other side of the world.

  4. ​By Age

    Over 45% are under the age of 25 with around 8% being 41 years of age or older.

  5. By Marriage

    ​Slightly over half (51.5%) are married with 6.7% in dual-military marriages.


  1. It allows us to say “Thanks” real-time

    Today, you can encourage someone actively fighting for your freedom. There’s no time like the present to say thank you and this holiday sparks our opportunity to do just that.

  2. It allows us to support in the moment

    Americans love to come together to support those in need and we too often forget about the families of those serving in the military in far-off locations. National Day of the Deployed reminds us of these special people and the need for us to surround them with love and support in the middle of an active-duty deployment.

  3. It brings us together

    When you read about and consider what our deployed military and their families go through during the cycle of deployment, you realize “it takes a village”. National Day of the Deployed brings us together to, in an indirect way, serve our country through serving those on the front lines.

National Day of the Deployed dates

2024October 26Saturday
2025October 26Sunday
2026October 26Monday
2027October 26Tuesday
2028October 26Thursday

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