Direct Some Respect: It’s Armed Forces Day!

May 21, 2022

Today we celebrate the multiple divisions of the US armed forces -- and the active men and women enlisted to serve in our country’s defense. Who can quickly name all 6 branches? 

There’s the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Space Force, and Coast Guard. Together, including their part-time and reserve components, the armed forces include more than 2 million citizens, each of them trained in the specific duties required of their service commitment. Celebrated since 1950, Armed Forces Day represents an attempt to honor the entire defense team in one national day of recognition, although some branches maintain their own individual appreciation holidays as well. 

Beyond the grueling basic training that most service members endure, active duty personnel are often subject to relocation orders, spartan living circumstances, degrees of separation from family and friends, intense technical training, and other lifestyle limitations. The most challenging imperative, of course, is the requirement to actually provide defense to the country and its resources in the event of war. Over 1.5 million disabled veterans and their families can attest to the sacrifices required in such circumstances. 

But perhaps now is an opportune moment to reflect on the assistance provided to all 6 branches by the ‘7th branch.’ This contingent, a robust division of men and women committed to the success and performance of the original 6 branches, labors in every state, in private firms and government offices. Who are these people? They work in a sector of the tech industry, and are focused on bringing innovation to military efforts. 

Their successes over the years may be largely out of the public eye, but are keenly appreciated by those serving. Their efforts save lives, help to prevent injury, assist in assuring mission readiness, and success in achieving military goals. In a larger sense, tech innovation even works to impact the balance of power between countries, impacting politics and history. 

Consider these older developments, originally developed for military applications: 

  • walkie talkies (portable two-way radio communication) 
  • the internet 
  • night vision 
  • radar and meteorology 

And more recently: 

  • ASICs (specialized chips that can endure for 30 years in harsh conditions without failure) 
  • 3D printing of composite materials using carbon nanotubes 
  • self-steering bullets (still in testing) 
  • satellite melter, deploying sunlight to heat enemy satellites until they lose orbit 

In more general terms, cybersecurity, a comprehensive technology program at Capitol, as well as its adjuncts, such as cyberpsychology, also assist service members in remaining safe and productive. Cybersecurity efforts work hand-in-hand with engineering and engineering technologies to thwart intruders and malware, and to protect sensitive data. 

Cyberpsychology is used from the moment of induction, to determine the best fit for new recruits, as well as to direct service members into specialties that will be most productive for their individual capabilities. Virtual reality training, useful before combat, and artificial intelligence round out cyberpsychology applications in the military. 

Working together, the military tech sector and all six divisions of the US armed forces deserve our thanks and appreciation for their efforts in keeping our homeland safe this Armed Forces Day! 

Works cited:

The brains behind Military Electronics: Custom Asic Chips. Northrop Grumman. (2021, September 24). Retrieved May 21, 2022, from  

US Government. (2022, May 18). Armed forces day. Retrieved May 21, 2022, from 

Sammon, R. (2016, December 29). 8 amazing new Military Technologies. Kiplinger. Retrieved May 21, 2022, from  

Wikimedia Foundation. (2022, March 30). List of military inventions. Wikipedia. Retrieved May 21, 2022, from