National Day of the Deployed

National Day of the Deployed is a holiday that’s observed annually in the United States on October 26th. It’s a day that honors the millions of U.S. military personnel that are deployed all over the world. It’s a day on which people are encouraged to donate to military support organizations such as the USO or to send out care packages to military members around the globe. It’s also a day on which people can volunteer their time to local military organizations.

The History of National Day of the Deployed

This holiday was first created in 2006 by Shelle Michaels Aberle. At that time, she approached North Dakota Governor John Hoeven to get him to support a holiday that recognized American troop deployment. October 26th was chosen because Aberle’s cousin, David Hosna, was born on that day and he was deployed as a Major at the time. In 2011, Resolution S.RES.295 was passed that established this holiday on a national level. Since 2012, it has been celebrated in every U.S. state.

Facts About the U.S. Military

Anyone observing this holiday might want to take the time out of their day to learn a few facts about the U.S. military. During the course of our research, we’ve come across some interesting facts that we think people should think about the next time they’re celebrating this holiday.

  • In 2016, there were 1.3 million active-duty U.S. military personnel.
  • In 2016, 15% of active-duty military personnel, or about 193,442 members, were deployed overseas.
  • The five countries in 2016 with the largest active-duty military presence were Japan, Germany, South Korea, Italy, and Afghanistan.
  • National Guard Service Members deploy on missions all over the world.
  • The U.S. Dept. of Defense is the largest employer in the U.S. with 3 million employees.
  • Every year, approximately 80,000 people join the U.S. military.
  • The U.S. Army Special Forces has 450,000 soldiers deployed to 135 different countries.
  • The U.S. Army is older than the United States itself.
  • The U.S. Army uses almost 1 billion gallons of fuel every single year.
  • The U.S. military currently has over 2,700 military dogs deployed to 600 different war zones.
  • It’s estimated that approximately 33% of returning soldiers have serious mental conditions such as PTSD or depression.
  • The U.S. military has its own type of Velcro that is 95% quieter than civilian Velcro.
  • The U.S. military has the largest military budget in the world—coming in at $601 billion in 2015.
  • Military families relocate 10 times more often than civilian families.
  • Since 2000, more than 2 million U.S. children have had at least one parent deployed overseas at least once.

Observing National Day of the Deployed

National Day of the Deployed isn’t a holiday that’s observed passively. It’s a day on which U.S. citizens should get involved. This means donating to the USO, donating some of their time, or attending ceremonies designed to honor local members of the military who are deployed overseas. People should also spread the word about this holiday using the hashtag #NationalDayOfTheDeployed on their social media accounts.

When is it?
This year (2024)
October 26 Saturday
Next year (2025)
October 26 Sunday
Last year (2023)
October 26 Thursday
Appreciation & Honor