How Purple Up! Day Began
There’s an emphasis in United States military culture on “the total force”, the “whole person concept” and similarly-themed philosophies that hold that troops, their families, and their extended families are more than the sum of their parts.
The notion of the “total force” should rightfully include families as they are the lifeline between military service (especially overseas) and individual officers or enlisted members.
With that in mind, former Defense Secretary Casper Weinberger established the Month of the Military Child as a Department of Defense-wide commemoration in 1986.
There’s a tradition in the military referring to the color purple; one use of the color involves the phrase “purple suit” which can refer to a military activity or organization that includes civilians and/or multiple military branches.
In the context of Purple Up!, this tradition continues. Purple indicates that all branches of the military are supported. All the service colors are represented including Air Force blue, Army green, Navy blue, Marine red, and Coast Guard blue; said to combine for the mutual benefit of all into the color purple.