Trump breaks with Military Spouse Appreciation Day tradition (update)


(Photo: US Air Force, 1st Sgt. Culeen Shaffer)

By J.G. Noll

Update, May 12, 2017, 4:31 PM ET: The White House Press Secretary’s Office has issued an official proclamation in honor of Military Spouse Day in the afternoon of May 12. The document names the day “Military Spouse Day,” reverting the original name for the day. (President Obama called it “Military Spouse Appreciation Day” starting in the 2010 proclamation.) You can read the proclamation in its entirety here.

It looks as if President Donald Trump will not sign a proclamation declaring May 12, 2017 as Military Spouse Appreciation Day. This makes him the first president in more than a decade to dispatch with the recent precedent set by his last two predecessors.

Presidential proclamations are mostly ceremonial documents meant to highlight or honor specific and worthy events, people, other noteworthy topics by the highest office in the nation. They have little legal implication unless codified by Congress. Most proclamations are signed and published before the day or week of the event it is announcing. At time of publication, according to the White House’s Press Office Proclamations page, the last presidential proclamation signed by President Trump was on May 5 for Public Service Recognition Week. None of the earlier listed proclamations since Inauguration Day 2017 reference Military Spouse Appreciation Day.

Military Spouse Appreciation Day has it’s beginnings in a presidential proclamation. In 1984, President Ronald Reagan signed Proclamation 5184, the first time Military Spouse Day was introduced to the nation. “As volunteers, military spouses have provided exemplary service and leadership in educational, community, recreational, religious, social and cultural endeavors,” he wrote. “And as parents and homemakers, they preserve the cornerstone of our Nation’s strength—the American family.”

For more than 20 years, presidents did not publicly acknowledge Military Spouse Day through an official proclamation. After 1984, Presidents Reagan, H.W. Bush, and Clinton did not sign any proclamations regarding Military Spouse Day during their tenures. In the middle of his presidency, President George W. Bush issued Proclamation 8013 in 2006, and yearly proclamations became the norm. Throughout the rest of his presidency, Bush issued 8141 in 2007 and 8252 in 2008. President Barack Obama signed a proclamation declaring Military Spouse Day every year of his presidency: 8375 in 2009,  8515 in 2010 (where it officially appears as “Military Spouse Appreciation Day” for the first time), 8669 in 2011, 8816 in 2012, 8976 in 2013, 9119 in 2014, 9275 in 2015, and finally 9442 in 2016. He is the only president to issue a proclamation in honor of Military Spouse Day or Military Spouse Appreciation Day every, single year of his presidency.

Earlier this week, Vice President Mike Pence, Second Lady Karen Pence, and Ivanka Trump honored military families at the White House. The event was catapulted to national attention when the Huffington Post caught a surprising exchange between a military child and the Vice President.

Of course, a president is able to issue a proclamation at any time he chooses. If a proclamation is made and signed today on Military Spouse Appreciation Day, we will update this article as quickly as possible.

 

11 Comments

    1. Shame on you for spreading more negativity and false information. Check your facts before posting willy-nilly and so quickly about an already unpopular President. You’re feeding the negativity and ‘fake news’, and you make this website less creditable. Update the title and fix this. ((tisk, tisk)) smh

  1. For Immediate ReleaseMay 12, 2017
    President Donald J. Trump Proclaims May 12, 2017, as Military Spouse Day

    MILITARY SPOUSE DAY, 2017

    – – – – – – –

    BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

    A PROCLAMATION

    On Military Spouse Day, we honor military spouses for their invaluable contributions to the defense of this great Nation. In 1984, President Ronald Reagan first recognized this day with a proclamation, honoring the exemplary service and immeasurable sacrifices of our Nation’s military spouses. This long overdue tribute gives thanks to those who, since the formation of our Republic, have served our country with selfless support. Military spouses have been, and continue to be, a steady, strong presence on the home front and in the hearts of our military men and women.

    Most military spouses hold no rank and wear no uniform, yet humbly serve our Nation with distinction. They endure deployments for weeks, months, and years at a time, sometimes with little warning, and they must brace themselves for the uncertainty that comes with goodbye. When duty calls, they shoulder the full day-to-day responsibilities of managing a household and often of parenting ‑‑ many times with little or no support. They face frequent relocations, which interrupt their careers and educational pursuits and require them to leave churches, homes, and friends. Most difficult of all, military spouses live with constant worry about the daily risks our military forces take for our country. Military spouses navigate these and other challenges with uncommon grace and inspiring strength.

    My Administration will focus on supporting and increasing opportunities for military spouses. I urge American businesses to create opportunities for hiring, training, and promoting military spouses, and to identify ways to keep them employed following relocations. These women and men have skills and experiences valued by employers and coworkers alike. They give so much of themselves to our country, and they deserve our enduring respect and appreciation in return. I have pledged to our Armed Forces to have their backs, and that means providing for our military spouses as well.

    On this Military Spouse Day, we recognize the exceptional women and men who have shared their loved ones with our country. We honor them for their service, praise them for their sacrifices, and offer them our gratitude and prayers on behalf of a grateful Nation.

    NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 12, 2017, as Military Spouse Day. I call upon the people of the United States to honor military spouses with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

    IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twelfth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand seventeen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-first.

    DONALD J. TRUMP

  2. I would like to add, that they have this lengthy article designed to get people upset and riled up, place the word (update), then have two sentences at the very bottom “to make up” for the obvious lack of patience (since they posted at 11 a.m. and bias). Sad really. Even sadder that people are sharing this blatant attempt to smear the president without researching. This “news” outlet does NOT represent my military family or myself has a military wife.

  3. Today I am deeply disappointed in Military One Source and how you have inaccurately reported the facts and the use of wording to try and achieve some type of political agenda. The title of this article is misleading and considering one of your main objectives being to promote military morale, I do not see how this article achieved just that. SMH, way to take away from the holiday meant to make military spouses feel important MOS.

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