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U.S. military branches by the numbers

  • 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

  • Active duty personnel – Army

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

  • Active duty personnel – Navy

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

  • Active duty personnel – Air Force

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

  • Active duty personnel – Marines

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

  • Breakdown by gender – Army

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

  • Breakdown by gender – Navy

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

  • Breakdown by gender – Air Force

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

  • Breakdown by gender – Marines

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

  • 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%

  • 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%