10 Interesting Facts About the US Military You Didn’t Know

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The United States’ Military and Department of Defense make up a huge portion of our country’s expenditures and has greatly influenced our government and citizens. Many Americans, however, don’t know the facts. Our nation considers the security of our citizens and our nation to be of the utmost importance in terms of our government’s priorities.

Here is a list of ten interesting facts about the US military and the Department of Defense that you may, or may not have known:

1. 30 of the 43 Presidents served in the Army, 24 during time of war, two earned the rank of 5-star General (President Washington and President Eisenhower) and one earned the Medal of Honor (President Theodore Roosevelt)

2. Less than 28 percent of Americans between the ages of 17-23 are qualified for military service, that’s only about 1-in-4.

3. The Department of Defense employs about 1.8 million people on active duty. It is the single largest employer in the United States, with more employees than Exxon, Mobil, Ford, General Motors, and GE combined.

4. The Army was in charge of exploring and mapping much of America. For example, the Lewis and Clark Expedition was comprised of Army officers and noncommissioned officers.

Click for more military coverage: Military Series

5. The total known land area occupied by US bases and facilities is 15,654 square miles — bigger than Washington DC, Massachusetts, and New Jersey combined

6. The Pentagon unveiled a 2013 budget plan that would cut $487 billion in spending over the next decade.

7. The Coast Guard seizes 169 pounds of marijuana and 306 pounds of cocaine, worth about $9,589,000.00 everyday.

8. Each day in Afghanistan costs the government more than it did to build the entire Pentagon.

9. The Pentagon has no marble because it was built during World War II, and Italy, the source of marble, was an enemy country.

10. In 2008, the Pentagon spent more money every five seconds in Iraq than the average American earned in a year.

What’s your opinion of these 10 interesting facts about the US military and Department of Defense? Speak up!

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  1. LeonOrr1 What is the racial make-up of the U.S. Military?
  2. Michael Kwas more than interesting
  3. Albanypaul I totally disagree with you Scott.  To be the Commander in Chief you need to know what it feels like to be in the military.  Totally disagree, everybody should serve men and women.  It's your country to help defend it.
  4. Scott Larson And, I do not believe that military service would make a person a great president, but a president who has served may be less likely to lead us into a war than one that hasn't. I always think back to Vietnam, which I think was a regrettable police action in the first place, but the reason our troops had so many problems over there is because the decision makers on what to do were in Washington DC, with no experience on the field. I agree that there are plenty of great leaders who in fact didn't have military experience, but that doesn't mean they would have been better if they had.
  5. Scott Larson And as far as our leadership lacking education, I agree, they do, and the result is a bunch of very unintelligent people running around denying global climate change, denying evolution, and thinking the world is 6,000 years old. The Flat Earth Society should not be on a position to determine the future course of this nation.
  6. Scott Larson The founders didn't have 5,021 nuclear warheads, a $15.68 trillion economy, a military that costs us $650 billion dollars a year, and 300 million people. The fact that we have a higher criteria to get a job teaching tomorrow's leaders introduction to political science at a small state college than to take control of a nation like ours goes so far past insanity that it makes no sense at all. Worse than that, to allow someone to run the nation who barely passed that class (Bush II) has a potential to lead us into a mass extension event. The framers of this nation created a constitution for their time, not ours, and considered it a fluid document, so it could change with us. Anyone who thinks that we should use the exact prescription that the framers gave us in the beginning days of this nation know nothing about their intentions nor the document they created.
  7. Duncan Webb The nation`s Founders didn`t think it should be a requirement, and I agree with them.
  8. Duncan Webb If having a PhD and being a retired military officer were requirements for the Presidency, then none of the Presidents would`ve been eligible, as Woodrow Wilson was the only one with a PhD (but no military experience); most of the rest had military experience but no PhDs.
  9. Duncan Webb The nation`s Founders didn`t think it should be a requirement, and I agree with them.
  10. Duncan Webb While being Commander-In-Chief of the armed forces is one of the President`s most important duties, it`s not his only one, and military experience does not guarantee a successful Presidency, as evidenced by the administrations of Zachary Taylor, Franklin Pierce, Ulysses Grant (one of America`s greatest military leaders), Benjamin Harrison, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush, for example. Besides, it would effectively and unfairly bar citizens without military experience from aspiring to the Presidency. The President is also technically the nation`s chief law enforcer, should we also restrict eligibility to those candidates with police or corrections experience? I believe that the Founders were correct with their requirements for the Presidency, no need to fix what`s not broken.
103 comments
LeonOrr1
LeonOrr1

What is the racial make-up of the U.S. Military?

Albanypaul
Albanypaul

I totally disagree with you Scott.  To be the Commander in Chief you need to know what it feels like to be in the military.  Totally disagree, everybody should serve men and women.  It's your country, help defend it.

Scott Larson
Scott Larson

And, I do not believe that military service would make a person a great president, but a president who has served may be less likely to lead us into a war than one that hasn't. I always think back to Vietnam, which I think was a regrettable police action in the first place, but the reason our troops had so many problems over there is because the decision makers on what to do were in Washington DC, with no experience on the field. I agree that there are plenty of great leaders who in fact didn't have military experience, but that doesn't mean they would have been better if they had.

Scott Larson
Scott Larson

And as far as our leadership lacking education, I agree, they do, and the result is a bunch of very unintelligent people running around denying global climate change, denying evolution, and thinking the world is 6,000 years old. The Flat Earth Society should not be on a position to determine the future course of this nation.

Scott Larson
Scott Larson

The founders didn't have 5,021 nuclear warheads, a $15.68 trillion economy, a military that costs us $650 billion dollars a year, and 300 million people. The fact that we have a higher criteria to get a job teaching tomorrow's leaders introduction to political science at a small state college than to take control of a nation like ours goes so far past insanity that it makes no sense at all. Worse than that, to allow someone to run the nation who barely passed that class (Bush II) has a potential to lead us into a mass extension event. The framers of this nation created a constitution for their time, not ours, and considered it a fluid document, so it could change with us. Anyone who thinks that we should use the exact prescription that the framers gave us in the beginning days of this nation know nothing about their intentions nor the document they created.

Prince Duncan
Prince Duncan

The nation`s Founders didn`t think it should be a requirement, and I agree with them.

Prince Duncan
Prince Duncan

If having a PhD and being a retired military officer were requirements for the Presidency, then none of the Presidents would`ve been eligible, as Woodrow Wilson was the only one with a PhD (but no military experience); most of the rest had military experience but no PhDs.

Prince Duncan
Prince Duncan

The nation`s Founders didn`t think it should be a requirement, and I agree with them.

Prince Duncan
Prince Duncan

While being Commander-In-Chief of the armed forces is one of the President`s most important duties, it`s not his only one, and military experience does not guarantee a successful Presidency, as evidenced by the administrations of Zachary Taylor, Franklin Pierce, Ulysses Grant (one of America`s greatest military leaders), Benjamin Harrison, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush, for example. Besides, it would effectively and unfairly bar citizens without military experience from aspiring to the Presidency. The President is also technically the nation`s chief law enforcer, should we also restrict eligibility to those candidates with police or corrections experience? I believe that the Founders were correct with their requirements for the Presidency, no need to fix what`s not broken.

Wesley Adams
Wesley Adams

So, Danny, you think John Adams, John Qunicy Adams, Woodrow Wilson, and FDR should not have been President?

Scott Larson
Scott Larson

The patriot act, by the way, does not supersede the constitution, but you would never know it by the way BOTH parties act like it does...

Scott Larson
Scott Larson

Marion... You listen to too many right wing radio drug addicts. Most everything you said is objectively false about Obama. I don't think he is a good president, but verify your facts. If you want to talk about the constitution, you need to look up who started the warrantless wiretaps. You need to understand that the reason we opened Gitmo is because it is outside the reach of congress and exempted it from constitutional restrictions. You need to understand that the Patriot Act was intended to create an exception to the constitution in more ways than just terrorism. You have to look at the NSA projects started under the Bush Administration. Obama has continued many of these programs, and as a constitutional scholar, should likely be held a bit more accountable than the village idiot, but you can't scream constitution from a partisan position when the last president violated it more than any president in American history, and contextually compared to Obama, made him look like a saint. Do you know that the constitutions says that any international treaty ratified by the states becomes law of the land, it does, which means that when we violated the UN Charter and attacked Iraq and when we denied prisoners of war the protections of the Geneva Convention, right or wrong, these too were direct violations of the constitution. How did we get away with it? No one asked the Supreme Court for a ruling, and they are the only ones empowered with enforcing the constitution. If you are going to attack the Democrats from the Left, you CANNOT do it from a constitutional platform without being a flat out hipocrit. The Democrats don't have much of a foundation either. The truth of the matter is, in politics, the only one who seems to give a rats behind what the constitution says is the party not in a position to violate it. Neither sides are following it, and neither sides should enjoy the privilege of invoking it any longer!

Scott Larson
Scott Larson

Violet, the younger Bush had an administration of Neo-Cons from the think tank Project for a New American Century. They published the argument for war while Clinton was still in power, and executed exactly how they laid it out. It was not for oil, that was just an Anti-War slogan (they didn't even try to steal the oil). Instead, they wanted to install a corporate type democracy, liberate the markets, abolish state run institutions, and open it up to international trade. They were hoping it would lead to a series of revolutions across the Middle East. None of this stuff was secret, and it was all published on their website for anyone to read, and the media make a choice to ignore it in light of the debates that gained them higher ratings. They were right, and it worked. The Arab Spring was the prediction coming true. Today, America didn't steal their oil, Chevron moved in, established contracts, and is legally exploiting it. Matter in fact, there are more multinational corporations headquartered in America exploiting every resource than any other business groups. It is just as wrong, the people there are just as screwed, life is much worse than before we invaded, but the investing class (which is NOT the people who invaded.....completely) is making hand over fist profits. The democracy thing didn't work out as well as we hoped, because our government quickly learned that when it happens, those nations can choose who 'they' want, and not who 'we want them to have' which is the one thing we hate worse than a dictator who doesn't do what we tell them..... Nonetheless, it is important to read what they actually said, to understand why they did it, and to look at the facts of the situation...

Scott Larson
Scott Larson

I have never served in the military, which is why I would never feel right sending someone into battle. Plato said that every leader should have a PhD and be a retired military officer, and I tend to agree with him. How can a person who has never known battle determine how it is fought.

Violet Triebenbach
Violet Triebenbach

The younger Bush wanted Iraq's oil. Thus, the charge of weapons of mass destruction. And he with cheney brought phony evidence to Congress and American public to win his way. And we know how that all went down! American soldiers killed, TBI, loss of limbs, etc., etc., etc., and a huge bill for the american taxpayers.

Violet Triebenbach
Violet Triebenbach

Bush was a rich kid with connections! He was said to have flown a plane, whatever kind it was, but don't know how well, and never in combat.

Marion Fulmer
Marion Fulmer

Do you know that only one that I know of hates the US Armed Forces??? Do you know the only one who refuses to salute the American flag or place his hand over his heart while the National Anthem is being played??? Do you know the one who refused to take his oath of office with his hand on the Bible??? Do you know the one who swore to uphold the Constitution and has tried every way he can to by pass his oath??? Do you know the only one whose has had his past records sealed, so that the real truth is hidden??? If you don't, you don't know who the present occupant of the WH is, so I will tell you!!! His name is Barrack Hussein Obama!!!!

Danny DiSantis
Danny DiSantis

Please expound as to why? It only stands to reason that someone who has no military experience should not have complete control of our military. They might do things like leave four guys (one might even be an Ambassador) to die. I'm not saying that that has ever happened but it's very possible to happen in the future if it didn't already happen. It's just a thought for reasons of valor which most politicians (on both sides of the isle) have very little. Sometimes the right thing to do is not always the politically expedient. A veteran would at least possibly know what the troops are being asked to do. A non veteran will only have advisors who are usually "yes" men/women.

Rob Rodriguez
Rob Rodriguez

General James "Maddog" Mattis for President 2016.

Mark Welker
Mark Welker

Carol, you mean the government has no right to be in charge of government land?

Carol Poole
Carol Poole

We need a strong military,what we don't need are the idiots with BLM grabbing land they have no constitutional right to.

Prince Duncan
Prince Duncan

According to our Constitution, they had every right to be President. I`ll stand with the Constitution.

Prince Duncan
Prince Duncan

I believe that the eligibility requirements for the Presidency as listed by the Founders in our Constitution should be left alone.

Prince Duncan
Prince Duncan

Cleveland served two nonconsecutive terms, making him the 22nd and 24th President.

Kevin C. Smith
Kevin C. Smith

Being in the military ought not be any prerequisite for the presidency. I would go so far-if there must be a choice-to say that one would have to wait for a period of time after service to be able to run.

Kevin C. Smith
Kevin C. Smith

How did John Kerry (5 times decorated veteran) count as "disregarding our military"?

Sharon Nicoll
Sharon Nicoll

I can think of a number of recent ones who didn't!

Ricky Jackson
Ricky Jackson

Gary is an uninformed idiot . Don't take my word for it.... Just take a look at his page.

David Akerson
David Akerson

Gary, are you still blaming bush? At least he could fly a fighter jet. Obama can 't do anything except screw up America. Wake up dude!

Gary Olson
Gary Olson

George Bush was suppose to serve but his daddy and connections got him out of fulling his nationalguard duty commitment! What a wimp!

Barbara Lilley
Barbara Lilley

He hates America & it's citizens. He loves our enemies though.

Linda Gunn
Linda Gunn

But not the one we have now! He does not even like the military !

Barbara Lilley
Barbara Lilley

I just know Barry Soetoro wasn't one of the 30. Washington & Eisenhower were generals. Teddy Roosevelt was awarded the medal of honor. Serving in the military should be a requirement for every candidate for the US presidency. That would have ruled Obie out.

Richard D. Wind
Richard D. Wind

Yeah Keith should have been a prerequisite to becoming President

Lynn Pepple
Lynn Pepple

In my observations none of the wars we the people have enter since world war ll has been for anything but profit. No one should have to serve in the military but if you are in a public office u should be serving to preserve our lives here in the US & not abroad.

Keith Kingsley
Keith Kingsley

Why didn't they all service? Because they were cowards.

Pat Blackmer
Pat Blackmer

I believe all presidential candidates should have to serve in the military .

Jon Frejlich
Jon Frejlich

Lol the democrats are disregarding the military? Keep drinking up that koolaid

Dennis Dunton
Dennis Dunton

I agree ,it should be a requirement to have served in the military to be president of theses United States