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How to Celebrate Father’s Day, by Service Branch

Celebrating Father’s Day with Your Service Member – A Parody by Branch

Father’s Day is upon us again, and now begins the celebratory preparations. If you’re lucky enough to have your service member home with you this Father’s Day, we’ve compiled some ideas about how best to spend the day with Dad.

Since each service is different, they all come with their own quirks. Keep in mind that what follows are merely suggestions.


Morning Formation

Let’s be real. Even though most Soldiers decry morning formations, deep down they absolutely love them. It’s one of the best parts of their day: waking up early, taking accountability, and chiding the guy who is always out of uniform.

For this reason, to celebrate Soldier-dads this year, hold an accountability formation. I recommend blasting Reville on a bugle, but iTunes also works. When your Soldier stumbles out of the rack, have any and all kids form up in platoon formation. (It’s okay if there’s only one kid…I’ve seen formations with two Soldiers before.)

Once your Soldier arrives at the formation area, call your platoon to “Attention”, render a salute, and report, “Family Company all accounted for!”

Be prepared for your Soldier to reply with “ZONK!” If this happens, you have three seconds to get out of sight or you’re all doing PT.

Physical Training

Even though Soldiers act like they hate the Army Physical Fitness Test, it is one of their favorite physical training activities, second only to the 12-mile ruck march. Once your Soldier has turned the formation back over to the platoon leadership, roll out your PT mats and get ready for an APFT!

Make sure you have a stopwatch on hand so you can time the various events. If you have an old-school Soldier, then stick with the traditional APFT: push-up, sit-up, two-mile run. If you have a younger Soldier, then you can try and set up the new-fangled fitness test with its myriad events. Keep in mind, though, that the Army still hasn’t figured out the new test, so the old one may be best for now.

If your Soldier tries to go to Sick Call, let them know that the aid stations and clinics are closed for Father’s Day.


I don’t recommend spending a lot of time planning a huge spread for breakfast. Even though there are Dining Facilities that have all the food a Soldier could eat, most Soldiers go to Burger King after PT anyways. Charley’s Subs is another favorite.

The best approach is to actually go into Burger King with your sweaty PT clothes on. While waiting in line for your food, make sure you tell embellishing stories about who scored the highest on the fitness test. But having BK delivered is a solid Plan B.


By the time PT and chow are finished, it should be mid-morning. Some Soldier-dads love fishing, while others love to walk around the PX. Make sure you stop by a tactical gear store so your Soldier can look around and criticize what works and what doesn’t.

For outdoor activities, Cornhole and Horseshoes are top recommendations. The kids love throwing the bean bags, and if your Soldier gets one in the hole on the first try, they just might yell out, “EIB, baby!”

If you have a pool or plan on swimming, it behooves you to have squirt guns and pool noodles on standby. Soldiers can’t resist the urge to squirt or smack someone in the face. Whatever it is you do, cherish the time you have with your Soldier, because to them it’s priceless.

See also: 9+ Unforgettable Father’s Day Discounts


Anchor’s Away

If you’re married to a true Sailor, then your home should already have a ship’s bell installed somewhere near the entrance. At the time of your choosing, CLANG on the bell eight (8) times to wake your sleeping Sailor.

When they fall out of the berthing, have your kids salute and yell, “Eight bells and all’s well!” This lets your Sailor know it’s time for their watch, and it just might make them chuckle.

Physical Training

It may seem stereotypical, but Sailors love to row for fitness training. In fact, it is likely that there’s a rowing machine in the aft of the garage. After rowing for 2,000 meters, follow up with a family-fun fitness event called “Walking the Plank”.

This is where the Sailor gets into the plank position of their fitness test, and then all the kids walk the plank from shoulders to feet. The more kids the merrier! For fewer kids, give them multiple run-throughs.

Galley Gala

While underway, most Sailors are used to a fairly predictable chow schedule. Since Father’s Day is always on a Sunday, it’s likely that they’ll expect either steak, crab, lobster, or a combination of those. Or you could surprise your Sailor by having none of them! Consider grilling up some brats and corn on the cob.

Whatever you choose to feed your Sailor, just don’t give them beans. Even though civilians think that all Sailors love Navy beans, I’ve yet to meet one that does. And it would just be cliché to do something like that!


Okay, the following recommendation is culturally circumstantial, but I would be remiss if I didn’t bring it up. Since most Sailors believe that Maverick is their spirit animal, you should take your Sailor to see the new Top Gun: Maverick movie…again.

On the way to the movie, you have to crank up the soundtrack to the classic 1980s Top Gun. Keep in mind that the only two songs that really matter are Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone” and the Top Gun Anthem.

Save the playing of Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away” for when the kids are asleep.

Check out: 12+ Military Discounts for Him

Marine Corps

Wake Up

Getting up before your Marine is already challenging enough. Aim to initiate the wake-up call around 0400, as most Marines are already used to not sleeping anyway. (As a cautionary note, do NOT get too close to a sleeping Marine, as you may end up on the floor in a chokehold.)

With that said, the best way to wake up a Marine is to blare the National Anthem while holding an American Flag. This way, when they’re aggravated by the abrupt wake-up, they’ll have a couple minutes to calm down as they stand at Attention and render a rigid salute.

Roll Call

Once the wake-up procedure is finished, it’s best to have all the children line the hallway at the position of Parade Rest. Once your Marine exits the bedroom, the senior ranking child will call the house to Attention and say,

Sir! Reporting for duty, sir!

The likely response will be “Rah” as your Marine passes by and heads to the coffee machine. If there are more than a couple children, you may assist them in counting by conducting a Roll Call.

Physical Training

For some reason, Marines love doing PT before the sun comes up. It is likely, however, that your Marine will really want to go back to bed, but you can’t let this happen!

The best way to get a Marine to do PT is to challenge him to a Father’s Day push-up contest. Not only does he have to accept because his kid(s) challenged him, but also because he knows he’s going to win anyway.

Once your Marine has thoroughly out-pushed every child in the house, the final challenge is to do 20 pushups with all the kids on his back. Remember, the harder you can make this, the better your Marine will feel when it’s over.


Once physical training is complete, your Marine will probably be hungry. While the steak and eggs are cooking, keep your Marine’s hunger at bay by serving a bowl of tasty Crayola crayons. I hear the red ones are the best.


By this time, the sun would probably just start to rise, which means the rest of the day is open. Suggested Father’s Day activities with your Marine include:

  1. A legit game of hide and seek using ghillie suits and face paint
  2. A water balloon fight (Hint: avoid colorful balloon assortments as they will distract your Marine. Instead, try to find grenade colored water balloons.)
  3. A barbecue. Marines love fire, food, and fellow Marines.

See also: Fitness & Gym Discounts

Air Force

First Call

The Air Force is often ridiculed by the other services as being pampered, which isn’t entirely true. Sure, they have a higher quality of life than most other services, and some would even admit that they have a special operations program. Either way, your Airman works hard on the front lines of aviation dominance freedom!

For Father’s Day, the best way to wake up your Airman is by playing your best rendition of “Morning Mood” by Grieg on the flute or recorder. As you play, gradually crescendo until Dad sits up in bed with a stretching yawn, sunlight creeping through the veiled windows, as children giggle and chatter in the background.

Physical Conditioning

Once your Airman has risen and cheerfully greeted the day, escort them to the living room for their daily round of physical conditioning. This training is often conducted virtually, so make sure the Wii is booted up, and that the controllers or VR headsets have fresh batteries.

Getting a good workout is essential as endorphins are released with vigorous physical activity. To that end, virtual activities like wind sprints, rock climbing, and white water rafting can all be done from the comfort of your living room.

Although the real workouts are more intense and beneficial, these virtual alternatives will be fun for the whole family.

Fine Dining

Since most Air Force dining facilities rival the greatest 5-Star restaurants, breakfast will likely be the most challenging part of your day.

It could be as simple as serving Strawberry-Filled Red Velvet Crepes. Or, you can shoot for the moon by serving Croque Madame Bistro Salad with Pancetta. Serve breakfast with a piping hot cup of Kopi Luwak to ensure you get the best reviews.

Whatever you choose to serve your Airman, ensure that it is organic and sustainably resourced.


This Father’s Day may be challenging for your Airman since the new Top Gun movie is an entertaining shot over the Air Force’s bow. I’d recommend taking your Airman to see the movie and ask them to point out the flaws in naval aviation. Sure, it’s from Hollywood, but they had to check with the Navy first, right?

If that idea doesn’t fly, then the next best activity is a group massage at the spa. Most spas don’t mind if the kids do cannonballs in the hot tub, and it will give you and your Airman time to relax and unwind.

No matter how you celebrate on this high-flying Father’s Day, make sure dad gets quality family time.

Check out our BIG List of Military Discounts!

Coast Guard

Nevermind that most other services don’t think the Coast Guard is an actual branch of the military, I am proud to say that there have been many shallow water sailors in my family. The Coast Guardsman in your life is definitely worth celebrating!

Morning Muster

To be quite honest, your Coastie may actually wake you up on Father’s Day. They have an irresistible urge to wake up before the sun rises to ensure that no one stole the coastline. Even though they are off duty, they’re probably gonna check the coast in uniform, just in case service members from other branches are watching. Take that, haters!

Physical Training?

It hasn’t been corroborated by reliable sources, but some say that the Coast Guard does, in fact, conduct physical training. Be prepared for a beach run in Ranger panties. This will likely be followed by a brief swim in the ocean as your Coast Guardsman acts out their favorite scenes from The Guardian, which we all know is the Coast Guard version of Top Gun.

Follow this by spending some time finding seashells with the kiddos. Always good fun.

The Original Galley

The Coast Guard is proud of the fact that their service branch preceded that of the Navy by eight years. That makes them the oldest service on the water.

For breakfast, serve up some strong coffee with some of the Coast Guard’s infamous survival cookies. What civilians and other branches pay money for, your Coast Guardsman has a lifetime supply of these emergency rations. Be advised, it is also likely that they hate these yummy cookies if they’ve ever been roped into the two-minute challenge, wherein they have to eat a whole serving in two minutes or less without water.

If that is the case, a big bowl of Captain Crunch with Crunch Berries is always a viable alternative.

Mandatory Fun

If you’re not having a good time with your Coast Guardsman, then you’re doing something wrong! These chaps are happy to do anything with their family at any time.

Some recommended activities with Dad include:

  1. Taking the little puddle pirates outside to jump in muddy puddles
  2. Spear fishing
  3. Teaching their parrot to trash talk the Navy

See also: Discounts for Military Golfers

Space Force

Morning Meeting

As the nation’s newest military service branch, we’re still trying to wrap our heads around the Space Force. Even so, as America’s first all-digital force, rousing your sleeping Guardian may be as easy as just setting a phone alarm. To liven things up, I recommend downloading either the Star Trek theme or the Imperial Death March from Star Wars.

Once your Guardian has risen, hold a family Zoom meeting and offer the greeting of the day. I recommend something like, “To infinity and beyond!”; but they probably get that a lot already. My Guardian does.

Fit Bit Fun

Based on my limited knowledge, the Space Force is or plans to utilize tracking devices like Fitbits to monitor a Guardian’s fitness. In a sense, this leaves the whole world open for physical training!

Since many Space Force Guardians transferred from other services, they’ll likely fall back on what they’re used to. So this could include beast-mode bodybuilding, galactic yoga, or a solar spinning class.

Freeze Dried Everything

While there are a few Space Force bases around the country, they receive most of their support from the Air Force, which includes their dining facilities.

To break away from the talons of the Air Force, Guardians need to embrace their new service and blaze a new trail. To accomplish this, breakfast should include astronaut food almost exclusively. If you have difficulty getting your hands on NASA’s stash of space grub, then purchase some freeze dried foods. These can be found on survival websites.

Moon pies may also be a hit on Father’s Day.

A Star-Studded Day

Any self-respecting Guardian is meticulously familiar with scheduled space launches, but most civilians are not. It may be worth a weekend trip to central Florida to chance witnessing a launch from Cape Canaveral.

As it stands now, there are a number of launches that don’t yet have dates, but they are scheduled for some time in June 2022. For instance, you could take your Guardian to see either a Falcon 9 or Astra Rocket 3.3 launch.

Additionally, your Guardian is likely into Comic Con and other hippy-dippy events. I even hear that the San Diego Comic Con is trying to recruit current Guardians to speak at their upcoming event.

Incidentally, there are two events on or around Father’s Day that your Guardian would absolutely love. First, the Greater Austin Comic Con runs from June 17th-19th in Cedar Park, Texas.

Second is the Dover Comic Con on June 18th at the Public Library in Dover, Delaware. Again, it may be worth a trip for your Space Force hero.

If you’re headed to Cape Canaveral, don’t miss these Disney World Military Discounts!


I must concede that, even with the humorous jabs levied against all branches of our Armed Forces, I hold all services close to my heart.

I served in the Army, as did my brothers. I fought shoulder-to-shoulder in Iraq with the Marines from the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force. My father was in the Air Force, and I have a son in the Coast Guard. My wife serves in the Space Force, and two of my grandfathers served in the Navy. My family is the military, and I am proud of all of America’s military branches.

It is with the utmost respect and appreciation that we wish all military dads a Happy Father’s Day!