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

June is Pride Month. This month, DoD honors the contributions of all military and civilian personnel with the theme, “Pride in All Who Serve—A Place for All,” which serves as a powerful statement that encapsulates the spirit of unity and acceptance throughout the DoD. This year’s Pride Month poster highlights a single table-top tent card with the word  “Everyone” printed on it, visually representing a place for all at the table. The poster and associated Pride Month products help raise awareness of the Department’s commitment to ensuring an atmosphere of dignity and respect throughout the workforce.

Also in June, we celebrate Juneteenth. Juneteenth (19 June) celebrates the end to slavery in the United States and is considered the longest-running African American holiday. On June 19, 1865, more than 2 years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, those still enslaved in Galveston, Texas, finally received word that they were free. As newly recognized citizens, Black Americans across the Nation began to commemorate the day, also known as Freedom or Emancipation Day, a tradition that we honor today. Today, Juneteenth not only commemorates the past, it is also an opportunity to celebrate the resilience of the African American community and to further commit to the fulfillment of America’s promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all.







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

Women Who Have Made Great Achievements

Sexual Assault Awareness Month

1-30 April 2024

DoD Directive 6495.01

STEP FORWARD. Prevent. Report. Advocate.

Holocaust Remembrance Day

Days of Remembrance

6 May 2024

15-12 May  2024

Public Law 96-388

Behind Every Name a Story: The Courageous

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

1-31 May 2024

Title 36, U.S. Code, Section 102

Advancing Leaders Through Innovation

Pride Month


1-30 June 2024

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

Pride in All Who Serve -- A Place for All 


19 June 2024

Public Law 117-17

Opportunity. Freedom. Celebrated.

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.