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U.S. military branches by the numbers

  • Lt. Col. Ann Peru Knabe // U.S. Air Force photo
    1/ Lt. Col. Ann Peru Knabe // U.S. Air Force photo

    U.S. military branches by the numbers

    While a great deal of noise has been made about the politicization of the military in recent years, people on both sides of the aisle can step back from politics and simply appreciate the bravery put on display by the more than one million active service members in the armed forces. Not only do they put their lives on the line in the pursuit of defending the United States, but they come from all different walks of life, having various ethnic backgrounds, educational history, and unique skill sets.

    To provide more context on military diversity, Stacker used data from CNA that provides specific breakdowns of the American armed forces by various demographics. This story focuses on Department of Defense services branches, specifically the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. Data was unavailable for the U.S. Coast Guard. For each branch, we've included 2016 statistics about the makeup of their personnel across various categories.

    Read on to get a better idea of what the large coalition of brave servicemen and servicewomen protecting our nation actually looks like.

    ALSO: Military heroes from every state

  • Boing-boing // Wikimedia Commons
    2/ Boing-boing // Wikimedia Commons

    Active duty personnel – Army

    2016 active duty personnel: 378,835
    Percent of total personnel: 35.7%

  • Official Navy Page // Wikimedia Commons
    3/ Official Navy Page // Wikimedia Commons

    Active duty personnel – Navy

    2016 active duty personnel: 265,716
    Percent of total personnel: 25.1%

  • US Air Force // Flickr
    4/ US Air Force // Flickr

    Active duty personnel – Air Force

    2016 active duty personnel: 252,762
    Percent of total personnel: 23.8%

  • Marines // Flickr
    5/ Marines // Flickr

    Active duty personnel – Marines

    2016 active duty personnel: 162,828
    Percent of total personnel: 15.4%

  • The U.S. Army // Wikimedia Commons
    6/ The U.S. Army // Wikimedia Commons

    Breakdown by gender – Army

    2016 active duty males: 325,603 (85.9%)
    2016 active duty females: 53,232 (14.1%)

  • Official Navy Page // Wikimedia Commons
    7/ Official Navy Page // Wikimedia Commons

    Breakdown by gender – Navy

    2016 active duty males: 215,540 (81.1%)
    2016 active duty females: 50,176 (18.9%)

  • US Air Force // Flickr
    8/ US Air Force // Flickr

    Breakdown by gender – Air Force

    2016 active duty males: 204,476 (80.9%)
    2016 active duty females: 48,286 (19.1%)

  • U.S. Department of Defense Current Photos // Flickr
    9/ U.S. Department of Defense Current Photos // Flickr

    Breakdown by gender – Marines

    2016 active duty males: 149,497 (91.8%)
    2016 active duty females: 13,331 (8.2%)

  • The U.S. Army // Wikimedia Commons
    10/ The U.S. Army // Wikimedia Commons

    Breakdown by race/ethnicity – Army

    2016 active duty members:
    White: 65.1%
    Black: 24.3%
    Asian: 4.5%
    Unknown: 4.12%
    Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander: 1.2%
    American Indian, Alaska Native: 0.8%
    Two or more: 0.0%

  • Official Navy Page // Wikimedia Commons
    11/ Official Navy Page // Wikimedia Commons

    Breakdown by race/ethnicity – Navy

    2016 active duty members:
    White: 58.3%
    Black: 19.1%
    Asian: 5.6%
    Unknown: 3.5%
    Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander: 1.2%
    American Indian, Alaska Native: 3.0%
    Two or more: 9.3%

  • US Air Force // Flickr
    12/ US Air Force // Flickr

    Breakdown by race/ethnicity – Air Force

    2016 active duty members:
    White: 70.2%
    Black: 16.4%
    Asian: 4.5%
    Unknown: 3.4%
    Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander: 1.3%
    American Indian, Alaska Native: 0.7%
    Two or more: 1.3%

  • U.S. Department of Defense Current Photos // Flickr
    13/ U.S. Department of Defense Current Photos // Flickr

    Breakdown by race/ethnicity – Marines

    2016 active duty members:
    White: 79.4%
    Black: 11.5%
    Asian: 2.7%
    Unknown: 3.2%
    Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander: 1.2%
    American Indian, Alaska Native: 1.1%
    Two or more: 0.9%

  • The U.S. Army // Wikimedia Commons
    14/ The U.S. Army // Wikimedia Commons

    Percent who graduated high school – Army

    2016 active duty members:
    Who graduated high school: 96.35%
    Who have a GED or equivalent: 3.50%
    Who did not graduate high school: 0.15%

  • Official Navy Page // Wikimedia Commons
    15/ Official Navy Page // Wikimedia Commons

    Percent who graduated high school – Navy

    2016 active duty members:
    Who graduated high school: 98.37%
    Who have a GED or equivalent: 1.21%
    Who did not graduate high school: 0.42%

  • US Air Force // Flickr
    16/ US Air Force // Flickr

    Percent who graduated high school – Air Force

    2016 active duty members:
    Who graduated high school: 99.96%
    Who have a GED or equivalent: 0.04%
    Who did not graduate high school: 0.00%

  • Marines // Flickr
    17/ Marines // Flickr

    Percent who graduated high school – Marines

    2016 active duty members:
    Who graduated high school: 99.60%
    Who have a GED or equivalent: 0.37%
    Who did not graduate high school: 0.03%

  • The U.S. Army // Wikimedia Commons
    18/ The U.S. Army // Wikimedia Commons

    Percent who continue serving after several years – Army

    2016 active duty members who continue serving after:
    5 years of service: 80.3%
    10 years of service: 84.8%
    30 years of service: 73.2%

  • Official Navy Page // Wikimedia Commons
    19/ Official Navy Page // Wikimedia Commons

    Percent who continue serving after several years – Navy

    2016 active duty members who continue serving after:
    5 years of service: 81.5%
    10 years of service: 91.7%
    30 years of service: 12.6%

  • Washington National Guard // Flickr
    20/ Washington National Guard // Flickr

    Percent who continue serving after several years – Air Force

    2016 active duty members who continue serving after:
    5 years of service: 93.1%
    10 years of service: 91.7%
    30 years of service: 8.6%

  • Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th F // Flickr
    21/ Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th F // Flickr

    Percent who continue serving after several years – Marines

    2016 active duty members who continue serving after:
    5 years of service: 51.9%
    10 years of service: 84.3%
    30 years of service: 2.2%

  • The U.S. Army // Wikimedia Commons
    22/ The U.S. Army // Wikimedia Commons

    Occupations with the most men – Army

    Occupation with the most men: Infantry, Gun Crews and Seamanship (98,062)
    Occupation with the highest percentage of men: Infantry, Gun Crews and Seamanship (98.29%)

  • Presidio of Monterey // Flickr
    23/ Presidio of Monterey // Flickr

    Occupations with the most men – Navy

    Occupation with the most men: Electrical (65,732)
    Occupation with the highest percentage of men: Other Technical (91.50%)

  • Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff // Flickr
    24/ Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff // Flickr

    Occupations with the most men – Air Force

    Occupation with the most men: Supply (29,866)
    Occupation with the highest percentage of men: Electrical (93.49%)

  • Marines // Flickr
    25/ Marines // Flickr

    Occupations with the most men – Marines

    Occupation with the most men: Infantry, Gun Crews and Seamanship (35,073)
    Occupation with the highest percentage of men: Infantry, Gun Crews and Seamanship (99.01%)

  • The U.S. Army // Wikimedia Commons
    26/ The U.S. Army // Wikimedia Commons

    Occupations with the most women – Army

    Occupation with the most women: Administrators (17,790)
    Occupation with the highest percentage of women: Medical (26.88%)

  • Official Navy Page // Wikimedia Commons
    27/ Official Navy Page // Wikimedia Commons

    Occupations with the most women – Navy

    Occupation with the most women: Electrical (12,974)
    Occupation with the highest percentage of women: Administrators (28.54%)

  • US Air Force // Flickr
    28/ US Air Force // Flickr

    Occupations with the most women – Air Force

    Occupation with the most women: Administrators (13,916)
    Occupation with the highest percentage of women: Medical (48.79%)

  • Marines // Flickr
    29/ Marines // Flickr

    Occupations with the most women – Marines

    Occupation with the most women: Administrators (4,072)
    Occupation with the highest percentage of women: Administrators (19.20%)

  • The U.S. Army // Wikimedia Commons
    30/ The U.S. Army // Wikimedia Commons

    2016 enlistees – Army

    2016 enlistees: 62,362
    Percent change from 2015: +5.38%

  • United States Naval Special Warfare // Wikimedia Commons
    31/ United States Naval Special Warfare // Wikimedia Commons

    2016 enlistees – Navy

    2016 enlistees: 30,624
    Percent change from 2015: -12.44%

  • Mobilus In Mobili // Flickr
    32/ Mobilus In Mobili // Flickr

    2016 enlistees – Air Force

    2016 enlistees: 32,279
    Percent change from 2015: +24.92%

  • Marines // Flickr
    33/ Marines // Flickr

    2016 enlistees – Marines

    2016 enlistees: 30,378
    Percent change from 2015: +2.59%

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