Do You Know These Military Trivia Facts?
Veterans and military spouses bring skills and values like strong work ethic and performing under pressure to their civilian careers.
Celebrate these incredible individuals with these fun military facts:
Military Fact #1) The Department of Defense employs about 1.3 million people on active duty.
- The U.S. Army is the largest branch with 464k members.
- The U.S. Navy is the second-largest military branch, with 346k members.
- The U.S. Marines is the third largest branch, with 174k members.
- The U.S. Air Force & Space Force together have 333k members.
Military Fact #2) The U.S. Coast Guard is not in the Department of Defense.
- 40k members strong, the U.S. Coast Guard is part of the Department of Homeland Security.
Military Fact #3) About 780k people currently serve in the Reserves, the Air National Guard & the Army National Guard.
- There are three types of Reserve component: the Ready Reserve, the Standby Reserve, and the Retired Reserve.
Military Fact #4) The Foo Fighters is a term from World War II.
- In addition to the popular band, the term Foo Fighters can be traced back to WWII, when American and British aircraft pilots reported bright lights that would change direction and speed away faster than any aircraft possibly could. No one was able to determine who piloted these crafts or what they were, and they were given the nickname "foo fighters."
Military Fact #5) Veterans are more likely to be in STEM fields than non-veterans.
- 8% of veterans are employed in a STEM field compared to 6% of non-veterans.
- California is home to 10% of all veterans in the STEM workforce.
Military Fact #6) Military veterans make up about 7% of the civilian workforce.
- Women make up 11% of all veterans and 13% of veterans in the workforce.
Military Fact #7) There are more veterans in California than any other state.
- California has a veteran population of about 1.7 million prior service members.
- The next highest veteran population is in Texas, with 1.5 million prior service members.
Military Fact #8) Age limits for entering active-duty service are now between 17-39.
- Previously the cut-off for joining active-duty service was 17-23.
Military Fact #9) The United States has 750 military installations overseas alone (in 80 nations!)
- Germany has more Army bases than any U.S. state.
Military Fact #10) 30 of the United States presidents served in the U.S. Army.
- 24 served in the Army during time of war.
- 2 earned the rank of 5-star General (Washington and Eisenhower).
- 1 earned the Medal of Honor (T. Roosevelt).
Military Fact #11) The U.S. Army was in charge of exploring and mapping America.
- The Lewis and Clark Expedition was an all-Army affair. Army officers were the first Americans to see such landmarks as Pike's Peak and the Grand Canyon.
Military Fact #12) The first woman to serve in the military posed as a man.
- In 1781, Deborah Sampson enlisted in the Army with a fake male identity. She went undetected until she sustained multiple injuries at battle and her identity was discovered. She was the only woman to earn a full military pension for participation in the Revolutionary Army.
Military Fact #13) Military families relocate 10 times more often than civilian families.
- On average, military families are sent to new duty stations every 2 or 3 years.
Military Fact #14) The U.S. Government is the largest employer of veterans.
- Veterans are significantly more likely than nonveterans to work for the federal government, and women veterans are the most likely of all to work for the federal government.
- Search & Employ magazine
- Department of Defense Manpower Data Center
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Department of Labor VETS Women Veterans Research
- Reader's Digest
- National Women's History Museum
- Syracuse University Institute of Veterans & Military Families
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