The United States Military is an old organization with a storied past. From the Revolutionary War to the ongoing and endless conflicts today, here are some facts you might not know about our men and women in uniform and their rich history.
Not Just Anyone Can Make It
Fewer than 28 percent of Americans between the ages of 17-23 are qualified for military service.
Commanders In Chief Who Paid Their Dues
Of U.S. Presidents, 32 have served in the military, 24 during times of war. Crazy, right?
War Hasn’t Been Declared Since WWII
While it may be referred to as the “Afghanistan War,” the US never officially declared war on Afghanistan. They use the term “authorization to use military force” to invade, instead of war.
An Expensive Proposition
In 2019, the U.S. government spent $732 billion on national defense, which was more than the next 10 countries combined.
No Time For Peace
The U.S. has only been at peace for 20 years total since its birth in 1776. That means America has been at war for 222 out of its 239 years!
Whoopsie! Broken Arrow!
A “broken arrow” is the codename for a nuclear weapon accident. The U.S. has officially had 32 broken arrows. Six of these nuclear weapons were never found nor recovered!
No Marble Floors
The Pentagon does not contain any marble because it was constructed during World War II — when Italy, the source of marble, was part of the enemy Axis Powers.
Did Somebody Say Coup?
The U.S. has backed over 15 regime changes and banana republics in South America alone. The CIA even went so far as to overthrow democratically-elected leaders. Look up Operation Condor for more fun facts!
The US Aircraft Carriers Are Second To None
The US has a total of ten Nimitz-class carriers, while the closest competitor (Italy) has only two. The carriers are also nuclear-powered — meaning these babies can go over 20 years without needing to be refueled!
They Are The Largest Employer In The World
The Department of Defense has roughly 3.2 million employees. That’s nearly a million more employees than Walmart has.
The Size Of A Small Country
The area of land occupied by US bases and facilities is 15,654 square miles — an area larger than Washington DC, Massachusetts and New Jersey collectively.
Operation Acoustic Kitty
In the ’60s, the CIA tried to use cats to spy on the Kremlin and Soviet embassies. A small microphone was implanted in the cat’s ear, which would secretly record conversations. The operation ultimately failed and ended up costing $20 million.
Modern Horse Soldiers
Somewhat unbelievably, the U.S. Army employs horseback calvary in the 21st century, even deploying them in Afghanistan.
The Army Is HUGE
If the U.S. Army were a city, it would be the tenth-biggest city in the United States!
An Old Institution
The U.S. Army evolved from the Continental Army, which was founded in 1775. This means the Army is actually older than the U.S.A. itself!