25 Surprising Facts About The United States Military

Posted by , Updated on October 21, 2022

Comprised of Air Force, Marines, Army, Navy and the Coast Guard; the United States is home to the world’s most powerful military force. With a staggering budget of over $600 billion dollars the United States is the world’s leader in Air craft and air craft carriers while boasting of an alarming +7K nuclear warheads. But these weapons are not the only things that set this military apart. Here are 25 surprising facts about the United States Military.


Out of 44 Presidents of the United States, 32 have served in the military. 15 Presidents served in the Army/Army Reserve, nine served in state militias, six served in the Navy/Naval Reserve and two served in the Continental Army.

George W. BushSource: Wikipedia (Image: en.wikipedia.org)

The US military has a secret, nearly silent type of Velcro, which reduces the ripping noise by over 95%.


Intended to replace the separate Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Days, the Armed Forces Day was created in August 1949 and was first observed on 20 May 1950.

military2Source: Wikipedia (Image: en.wikipedia.org)

Stores on US military bases around the world don't accept pennies as currency because they are “too heavy and are not cost-effective to ship”.

Pennies3Source: Huffington Post (Image: Pixabay public domain)

As of 31 December 2013, 1,369,532 people were on active duty in the armed forces, with an additional 850,880 people in the seven reserve components. In total, over 2.2 million members of the US Armed Forces. That is more than the population of Wyoming, Vermont and Alaska combined.

GoarmySource: WIkipedia (image: GO Army CC License 2.0)

The Army owns about 24,000 square miles of land. In theory, if the Army was a state, it would be the 42nd largest in the US.

US ArmySource: Army.mil (Image: en.wikipedia.org)

During the The Great Los Angeles Air Raid in February 1942, the Army ordered a total blackout of Los Angeles and fired 1,400 anti-air artillery and thousands of .50 caliber shots at a reported enemy aircraft. Just a few hours later, it proved to be a false alarm.

NewspaperSource: Wikipedia (Image: en.wikipedia.org)

In World War II, supporting one soldier on the battlefield took one gallon of fuel per day. Today, more than 22 gallons of fuel per soldier/day is needed.

US soldierSource: Army.mil (Image: en.wikipedia.org)

In 2014, the US spent more than 580 billion dollars on the Military, which was by far the highest amount in the world. The US was followed by China (129 billion) and Saudi Arabia (81 billion).

blackhetSource: Wikipedia. (Image: en.wikipedia.org)

After the release of the Top Gun movie in 1986, the US Navy stated that the number of young men who wanted to become Naval Aviators went up by 500 percent.

topgunSource: Wikipedia (Image: en.wikipedia.org)

A non-lubricated condom is part of the United States Military Standard Issue Parachute Pack Survival Kit (SRU-16). Apart from its primary function, it can also serve as a container capable of holding up to 1 liter of water.

CondomsSource: Kickassfacts.com (Image: Pixabay CC License, CCO)

So far, the U.S. Navy has only had one ship held captive by another nation. In 1968, North Korea took the USS Pueblo spy ship in 1968. Today, the ship is moored in a river in Pyongyang and serves as a tourist attraction.

USS PuebloSource: bbc.com (Image: commons.wikimedia.org)

According to the DoD’s latest Base Structure Report, the US Army has bases in at least 74 countries around the world.

Armybasemettacenter.org (Image: commons.wikimedia.org)

The US Navy still operates wooden ships. Made from oak, fir and cypress, these ships are designed to clear mines from vital waterways.

USS GladiatorSource: en.wikipedia.org (Image: commons.wikimedia.org)

In 1968, the US Army developed a giant four-legged robot known as the “Walking Truck”. The robot was strong enough to lift a car and could walk as fast as 5 mph but it was never used in practice as operating it was extremely exhausting.

Walkingtruckdavidbuckley.net (Image: commons.wikimedia.org)

The US Navy developed a special research vessel that is capable of operating both vertically and horizontally. Known as the FLIP (Floating Instrument Platform), the vessel has two doors in most of its rooms, one to use when the ship is horizontal, another when vertical.

090817-N-0000X-001Source: en.wikipedia.org (Image: commons.wikimedia.org)

The American Civil War remains the deadliest war in the history of the US Army. It is estimated that about 750,000 soldiers were killed in the war, which is by far the highest number of all the wars the Army has ever been involved in.

American Civil WarSource and image: en.wikipedia.org

Although the US Military have sent their armed forces abroad more than 300 times, officially, the country has only declared war on five occasions - the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the Spanish-American War, World War I and World War II.

ArmySource: History.com (Image: commons.wikimedia.org)

Until WWII, the shoulder sleeve insignia of the U.S. Army’s 45th Infantry Division contained the swastika which was a common Native American symbol back then.

SwatSource and image: Wikipedia

The colors of the present army dress uniform were chosen by George Washington in 1779. Over the years, the Army tried various colors but in 2010, they began issuing uniforms according to Washington’s color design again.

US Army uniformen.wikipedia.org

US Air Force honors their fallen with a fly-by salute known as “The Missing Man” in which the formation flies very low and the leader’s wingman pulls up rapidly, which represents departure to heaven. This is an aerial equivalent of riderless horse. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missing_man_formation

MissingmanSource and Image: Wikipedia

In 1929, US Army Air Corps Lieutenant General John MacCready asked Bausch & Lomb, a New York-based medical equipment manufacturer, to create aviation sunglasses that would ban the sun rays and reduce the headaches and nausea experienced by his pilots. This is how the company Ray Ban got its name. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray-Ban

Raybanssource and image : Wikipedia

As a part of the U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program, the Navy has trained sea lions and dolphins to perform tasks such as ship and harbor protection, mine detection and clearance, and equipment recovery. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Navy_Marine_Mammal_Program

Marine2Source an image: Wikipedia

Because of their unique training schedules, National Guard and Reserve units may celebrate Armed Forces Day/Week over any period in the month of May.

US-militarySource and image: Wikipedia

USS John C. Stennis, a 1,092 feet (333 m) long nuclear-powered super-carrier, has a more powerful air force than 70% of all countries.

USS John C. StennisSource: en.wikipedia.org (Image: commons.wikimedia.org)

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