Today (Saturday 26 June) on Armed Forces Day we show our gratitude and support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community: from currently serving troops to Service families, veterans and cadets.
Armed Forces Day celebrations began on Monday when the Armed Forces Day flag was raised on buildings and famous landmarks around the country.
Physical and virtual events have been held all week across the country to mark this year’s Armed Forces Day although some traditional events have been affected by COVID-19.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosted an Armed Forces Day reception for serving members of UK Armed Forces in the garden of Number 10 Downing Street to coincide with Armed Forces Week and also visited the New Normandy Barracks in Aldershot home to the 4 RIFLES.
One hundred Service personnel and their families were invited to attend the Armed Forces Day event at the National Memorial Arboretum, for a special lunch as a thank you for their efforts over the last year. Many of the personnel in attendance have been busy supporting the UK’s response to the pandemic, from driving ambulances to supporting the vaccine roll out.
In the capital, a special tribute to the Armed Forces took over the iconic billboards of Piccadilly Circus. The monumental screens showed moving portraits of Armed Forces personnel alongside a thank you message from the nation.
Other events are being held by communities across the country with fairs, flypasts and family fun.
The UK Armed Forces defend the UK and its interests. They are busy working around the world, promoting peace, delivering aid, tackling drug smugglers, providing security and fighting terrorism.
As of 1 January 2021, the total strength of full-time trained and untrained UK Armed Forces was almost 156,600, 56% within the British Army and the rest split equally between the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force.
As of 1 October 2020, a total of 16,110 women were in the Armed Forces, accounting for 11% of the total trained and untrained UK strength and about 9.1% of Armed Forces personnel (13,200) identified as non-white with the highest proportion in the Army (13.4%), followed by the Royal Navy (4.8%) and the RAF (3%).
Showing support for the Armed Forces provides a much valued morale boost for the troops and their families. You can find out more about what they are doing at home and around the world by visiting the official sites of the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force.
Photo licensed under a Creative Commons News License – UK MOD © Crown copyright 2021
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