Military

NATIONAL AIRBORNE DAY - August 16

NATIONAL AIRBORNE DAY – August 16

NATIONAL AIRBORNE DAY

National Airborne Day on August 16th honors the military’s airborne divisions of the Armed Forces.    

August 16, 1940, marks the date of the first official Army parachute jump at Ft. Benning, Georgia. The successful jump validated the innovative concept of inserting U.S. ground combat forces behind a battle line by parachute. These sky soldiers represent some of the most prestigious and expertly trained forces in the United States Army. 

In the U.S. Army currently, two airborne divisions operate. The 82nd Airborne Division out of Ft. Bragg, North Carolina began as an infantry division. During World War I, the 82nd Division activated on 25 August 1917 at Camp Gordon. In 1918, they earned the nickname All American for the composition of their division. Since the soldiers came not only from all across the country, but several were immigrants, too. The 82nd Division represented all of America as few other divisions did at the time.

The second and still active airborne division had a short-lived beginning. During World War I, the 101st Airborne Division organized for a short while on November 2, 1918. However, the war ended shortly after. During World War II, the Screaming Eagles re-activated on August 16, 1942, at Camp Claiborne, Louisiana. They currently make their home at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky.

Both units have served around the world in combat, peacekeeping, and humanitarian missions.

HOW TO OBSERVE National Airborne Day

Discover more about the Airborne troops of The United States military.

  • Watch documentaries about airborne troops in the United States military.
  • Explore the history of airborne units. Read Airborne: A Combat History of American Forces by E.M. Flanagan or Out of the Blue: U.S. Army Airborne Operations in World War II by James Huston. 
  • Discover even more by visiting military museums and memorials honoring the airborne forces. 

Thank a paratrooper and use #NationalAirborneDay to post on social media.

NATIONAL AIRBORNE DAY HISTORY

President George W. Bush proclaimed National Airborne Day on August 14, 2002. On August 3, 2009, the US Senate of the 111th Congress recognized National Airborne Day with Senate Resolution 235.


Airborne FAQ

Q. Does the U.S. Army Airborne have a creed?
A. Yes. You can find it at the Association of the United States Army.

Q. What does the AA patch worn by the 82 Airborne mean?
A. It stands for “All American” a nickname supplied by Vivienne Goodwyn soon after the 82nd Airborne formed during World War I.

Q. What does the 101st insignia look like?
A. A bald eagle on a black shield represents the 101st Airborne. As a result, their nickname is the Screaming Eagles.

Q. How long is Airborne training?
A. The U.S. Army Airborne School in Ft. Benning, Georgia conducts three-week Basic Paratrooper Training.

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