Senate Passes Hagel Resolution to Designate August 16, 2008 "National Airborne Day"
Senate Resolution 625 introduced by U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) designating August 16, 2008 as "National Airborne Day" was passed today by the Senate by unanimous consent. August 16, 2008 will be the 68th Anniversary of the first official jump by the Army Parachute Test Platoon. The resolution was cosponsored by a bipartisan group of twenty-seven Senators.
"Over the last 68 years, U.S. airborne forces have performed important military and peace-keeping operations throughout the world, including the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. August 16th is a day to celebrate and thank airborne veterans and airborne units for their tireless commitment to our nation's defense and for the ideals of duty, honor and country they embody," Hagel said.
On June 25, 1940, the War Department authorized the Parachute Test Platoon to experiment with the potential use of airborne troops. The Parachute Test Platoon, which was composed of 48 volunteers, performed the first official Army parachute jump on August 16th. The success of the Platoon led to the formation of a large and successful airborne contingent that has served from World War II until the present.
Last year, Hagel introduced Senate Resolution 82 to designate August 16, 2007 as "National Airborne Day," which passed the Senate by unanimous consent. Members of the 82nd Airborne Division Association recognized Hagel last year in appreciation for his efforts to designate the date as "National Airborne Day."