NDU Special Observances Calendar


The Department of Defense (DOD) celebrates several special observances and awareness months annually in support of Joint Congressional Resolution, Presidential Proclamation, and achievements of all groups that comprise the society of the United States. Since 1968, the Department of Defense (DOD) has supported ethnic observances through the development of local programs of recognition and many diverse activities. Activities are designed to enhance cross-cultural awareness and promote harmony among all military members, their families, and the civilian work force. These activities are extensions of the equal opportunity education and training objectives. They are set aside to recognize the achievements and contributions made by members of specific minority groups, women, and individuals with disability in our society. The focus of the observance should be directed towards encouraging interaction and not just recognition. For more information about DoD special observances and awareness months, please visit DEOMI's website

The DoD theme for the 2024 observance of Black History Month is “African Americans and the Arts” in recognition of of African American arts and artisans. African American art is infused with African, Caribbean, and Black American influences. It has widespread and enduring contributions in the fields of visual and performing arts, literature, fashion, folklore, language, film, music, architecture, culinary, and other forms of cultural expression. African American artists have used art to preserve history and community memory as well as for empowerment. Americans of African descent have led artistic and cultural movements, such as New Negro, Black Arts, Black Renaissance, hip-hop, and Afrofuturism, and been at the forefront of popular trends around the world. In celebrating the history of African Americans and their contributions to the arts, DoD recognizes and celebrates the richness of the past and present with an eye toward what the rest of the twenty-first century will bring. Learn about this month's posters.






2024 Theme / Link to DoD Official Memo

Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthday

15 January 2024

Public Law 98-144

Remember! Celebrate! Act! A Day On, Not A Day Off!

National African American/Black History Month

1-29 February 2024

Public Law 99-244

African Americans and the Arts

Women’s History Month

1-31 March 2024

Public Law 100-9


Sexual Assault Awareness Month

1-30 April 2024

DoD Directive 6495.01


Holocaust Remembrance Day

Days of Remembrance

6 May 2024

15-12 May  2024

Public Law 96-388


Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

1-31 May 2024

Title 36, U.S. Code, Section 102


Pride Month


1-30 June 2024

Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness (USD P&R) Directive



19 June 2024

Public Law 117-17


Women’s Equality Day

26 August 2023

Public Law 93-105


National Hispanic Heritage Month

15 September-15 October 2024

Title 36, U.S. Code, Section 126


National Disability Employment Awareness Month

1-31 October 2024

Title 36, U.S. Code, Section 121


National American Indian Heritage Month

1-30 November 2024

Public Law 103-462



PLEASE NOTE: NDU lists only observances directed by the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness (USD P&R) and as established by law, bill, or resolution of Congress. Nothing precludes an organization from creating their own theme or using previously published themes. Organizations are not required to limit their special observances to just those reflected here. Organizations are reminded that special observances are conducted to recognize the continuous achievements of all Americans to American culture and to increase awareness, mutual respect, and understanding. They are designed to enhance cross-cultural and cross-gender awareness and promote harmony among all military members, their families, and the DOD civilian workforce.