Iraqi Army Day in Iraq in 2025

Iraqi Army Day in Iraq in 2025
Iraqi government officials and U.S. military leaders look-on as Iraqi security forces pass for review in Baghdad, June 2009. Image by Tommy Avilucea , via U.S. Air Force
  How long until Iraqi Army Day?
Iraqi Army Day
  Dates of Iraqi Army Day in Iraq
2025 Iraq Mon, Jan 6 National Holiday
2024 Iraq Sat, Jan 6 National Holiday
2023 Iraq Fri, Jan 6 National Holiday
2022 Iraq Thu, Jan 6 National Holiday
2021 Iraq Wed, Jan 6 National Holiday

Marks the anniversary of the activation of the Iraqi Army on January 6th 1921.

When is Iraqi Army Day?

Army Day is a public holiday in Iraq on January 6th each year.

This holiday marks the anniversary of the activation of the Iraqi Army on this day in 1921

History of Iraqi Army Day

Did you know that 21 countries in the world have no army? That means there are about 175 national armies, but only 16 countries have specific public holidays to honour their armed forces.

For these countries, a common thread is that their military has played a significant role in the development of the state. Being involved in six Coup d'états between 1936 and 1941 established the important role of the army in the statehood of Iraq.

After the end of the first world war and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, Iraq (then known as Mesopotamia) came under a British Mandate. We avoided the word 'control' in the last sentence as managing a new country and subjugating disparate ethnic and religious groups who felt that they had simply swapped one imperial Turkish master for another British one proved difficult - and costly.

An uprising in Iraq in May 1920 was put down but required the deployment of more than 100,000 British and Indian troops. The military campaign in Iraq between 1920 and 1922 cost Britain over £40 million - money that Britain could ill afford after the first world war.

To bolster state control and reduce the cost to the British taxpayer, it was decided to create an Iraqi military. The Iraqi Army was activated, based on the British model, in January 1921.

In the almost 100 years since then, the Iraqi Army has gone through many changes and fought in several long conflicts.  Iraqi Army Day is seen as a day to recognise the role of the armed forces in protecting the state and honour those who have lost their lives in military service to the country. Beleaguered after years of fighting so-called Islamic State, the day is also partly to encourage new recruits and improve/repair the effectiveness of the Army.

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