U.S. Air Force Day is commemorated yearly on September 18, celebrating the birth of this very important organization. The U.S. military is one of the most advanced in the world. As soon as airplanes were invented, the U.S. military bought its first plane and utilized this revolutionary invention. Since then, many advancements have been made. This holiday celebrates the day the U.S. Air Force became an independent organization and recognizes the many accomplishments the USAF has made. Most importantly, this day honors the sacrifices of many and raises awareness of the importance of national security to our freedom.
History of U.S. Air Force Day
The first successful airplane was invented in 1903 and the U.S. military bought its first aircraft only six years later. Envisioning great success for their new invention, the U.S. Signal Corps established the first-ever military aviation organization, the Aeronautical Division, in 1907. However, the Aeronautical Division was too small and inadequate when it came to aerial combat years later. It became evident after the hardships of World War II that airpower would become even more crucial in the coming years. It was then that the National Security Act of 1947 reorganized the U.S. military and intelligence agencies, making the Air Force an independent organization.
The U.S. Air Force Day was first introduced by President Harry Truman on August 1, 1947. This was done to recognize the personnel of the fearless U.S. Air Force and all who have maintained and developed the nation’s air strength. This holiday was initially celebrated on August 1 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Aeronautical Division, U.S. Signal Corps. However, on September 18, the U.S. Air Force was established as a separate branch of the US Armed Forces and this holiday received a new date.
This day aims to increase the public’s awareness of the importance of national security as well as show appreciation for those risking their lives to protect the country and maintain its prosperity.
U.S. Air Force Day timeline
The Wright Brothers make their first successful flight.
The U.S. Signal Corps creates the Aeronautical Division.
The Wright military flyer becomes the world’s first military airplane bought by the U.S. Army Signal Corps.
The National Security Act of 1947 creates the U.S. Air Force, making it an independent organization.
The U.S. Air Force had its first completely jet aerial combat in the Korean War.
U.S. Air Force Day FAQs
Who can join the USAF?
The age range for those who can enlist is 17 years to 39 years.
How many aircraft does the U.S. Air Force have?
They currently have 5,217 active aircraft, making it the world’s largest and most advanced Air Force.
How long is Air Force training?
The training lasts for 8.5 weeks.
How to Observe U.S. Air Force Day
Thank a veteran
The most important thing you can do is show your appreciation for those who oversee our safety as a nation. Call up anyone you know who is or was in service or make a social media post with the hashtag #USAirForceDay or #AirForceBirthday.
Attend local events
Depending on where you live, many local communities host events to celebrate the U.S. Air Force. The military often celebrates with air demonstrations, so make sure to look up.
There are organizations that help struggling veterans. Consider donating any amount to show your support. The Air Force Aid Society dedicates three dollars to airmen for every one dollar donated.
5 Fun Facts About The U.S. Air Force
It shares a birthday with the CIA
The National Security Act of 1947 established many organizations, one of which is the CIA.
March is the ‘grow your beard month’
In honor of triple ace Brig. Gen. Robin Olds, airmen grow mustaches throughout March to participate in the Mustache March tradition.
A roof stomping tradition
Airmen welcome their new commander by climbing on their roof and stomping on it.
It has birthed two presidents
Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush both served as airmen.
Supercomputers and PlayStations
The USAF used 1,760 PlayStation threes to build their supercomputer which is used for satellite images, AI research, and radar enhancement.
Why U.S. Air Force Day is Important
It recognizes hard work
It’s important to reflect on the good we have and the reason we have it. The U.S. military does so much with so little recognition. This holiday allows us to thank and honor members of the USAF for their service.
An appreciation to the inventors
Airplanes were invented 119 years ago and so much progress has been made since then. The U.S. military has accomplished so much in improving aircraft and training airmen to protect the country.
It appreciates veterans
There’s a lack of appreciation and support for older veterans. It’s estimated that 1.4 million veterans are at risk of homelessness. They put their lives at risk and they suffered much, physically and psychologically. This day reminds us to appreciate their work and donate to veterans in need.
U.S. Air Force Day dates