Happy Birthday, Air Force: September 18, 2022

  • Jack Collins

It’s September, and that means we’re gearing up to celebrate the Air Force’s Birthday on September 18, 2022. The Air Force is a relative baby among the other branches of the military, and it’s turning a spry 75 years old this year (compare that to 247 years old for the Army). If you’ve ever wondered when the Air Force’s birthday is (or why it’s that date), this is the post for you.

When is the Air Force Birthday?

The US Air Force first became its own branch of the military with the signing of the National Security Act of 1947. While President Harry Truman signed the Act into law in July, the Air Force wasn’t officially “born” until Chief Justice Fred Vinson swore in William Symington (who would later make an unsuccessful presidential bid in 1960) as the first Secretary of the Air Force on September 18.

The Air Force has seen huge expansion since then, eventually settling into its current mission of maintaining the country’s air supremacy, surveillance and reconnaissance, global strike, command and control, global integrated intelligence, and rapid global mobility abilities.

The Air Force Academy Chapel in Colorado Springs

Before the Air Force

Although the Air Force wasn’t around before 1947, we obviously still had planes in combat. Previously, it had been a branch of the Army under the Army Air Corps moniker. And while many people believe that’s where the Air Force started, that’s not entirely true. It actually got its start in 1907 as part of the Army Signal Corps, a force of 8 observation balloons.

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