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US Military Facts You Probably Didn’t Know

US Military Facts You Probably Didn’t Know

Flickr / 7th Army Training Command


Not Just Anyone Can Make It

Fewer than 28 percent of Americans between the ages of 17-23 are qualified for military service.


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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.


Shutterstock / Monkey Business Images


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!


Shutterstock / Everett Collection


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!


Flickr / mindfrieze


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.


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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!


Flickr / Official U.S. Navy Imagery


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!


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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.


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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.


Flickr / MowT


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.


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Modern Horse Soldiers

Somewhat unbelievably, the U.S. Army employs horseback calvary in the 21st century, even deploying them in Afghanistan.


Flickr / The National Guard


The Army Is HUGE

If the U.S. Army were a city, it would be the tenth-biggest city in the United States!


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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!