On 31 August 1949 President Harry S. Truman designated May 21 as Armed Forces Day, a time for citizens to come together and thank our military members for their patriotic service in support of our country. This represented the important unification of the Armed Forces under the Department of Defense, and replaced the separate Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force Days.
To put faces to this Day, here are a few U.S. Army photos from Kuwait by Staff Sergent Ian M. Kummer of 40th Combat Aviation Brigade. These represent the 1.3 millions active duty troops and the 811 thousand in the Reserve and National Guard forces.
Soldiers jump from the back of a CH-47 Chinook helicopter from Company B, 1st Battalion, 168th Aviation Regiment, 40th Combat Aviation Brigade, during a Helocast exercise in the Persian Gulf May 2. Helocast is a method of inserting teams of troops into combat zones that might not be otherwise accessible.
Solders from the 86th Engineer Dive Detachment pick up the Soldiers.
Captain Nicki Burtcher, an en route critical care nurse, and Sgt. Janet Johnson, a medic with Company C, 2nd Battalion, 104th Aviation Regiment, 40th Combat Aviation Brigade, are stationed at Camp Buehring, Kuwait.
Airman 1st Class Matthew Rainey, a joint terminal air controller with the 82nd Expeditionary Air Support Operations Squadron provides a Close Air Support Request to AH-64 Apache helicopters from the Kuwait Air Force and 1st Battalion, 10th Aviation Regiment, 40th Combat Aviation Brigade, during a live-fire exercise at Range 10 near Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait, April 26.
During the exercise an MQ-1C Gray Eagle unmanned aerial system from Company F, 277th Aviation Regiment, marked targets with a laser while Rainey cleared the Apaches to fire. This is the first time in history an Army Gray Eagle has lased a target for a KAF Apache.
An AH-64 Apache helicopter from 1st Battalion, 10th Aviation Regiment, 40th Combat Aviation Brigade, flies to its battle position during the exercise.
Air Force Capt. Kevin Fischer, the air liaison officer for the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, monitors radio traffic during the exercise.
An Airman from the 82nd Expeditionary Air Support Operations Squadron prepares to be hoisted out of a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter flown by Soldiers in Company C, 2nd Battalion, 104th Aviation Regiment, 40th Combat Aviation Brigade, during a training exercise in Southwest Asia April 4. During medevacs a hoist can be used to evacuate injured troops when there is terrain preventing the helicopter from landing.
A UH-60 Black Hawk hoists up two of its crew members.
California Army National Guard Sergent Cassandra Peel.
She practices taekwondo at Camp Buehring, Kuwait on April 2. Sergent Peel has practiced taekwondo for six years and is now a second degree black belt.
Sergent Peel is an avionic mechanic in Company B, 640th Aviation Support Battalion, 40th Combat Aviation Brigade.
See her story in this April 19 Face of Defense profile: “Soldier Combines Lessons From Military Service, Martial Arts“.
For More Information
- A step to getting an effective military. We might need it soon.
- Reforming the US Army: can be done, must be done — By Donald Vandergriff (Major, US Army, retired).
- Does America have the best military in the world?
- We don’t need a new army to fight modern wars, we need a smart one — By Gary Anderson (Colonel, USMC, retired).
- America needs a smaller and more lethal Army for the 21st century — By Robert Prescott.
To learn more about the challenges facing the US Army — and ways to surmount them — see these books by Donald Vandergriff (Major, US Army, retired).