The .45%

FightnFarmerUSMC
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I got this sent to me by my SgtMaj. I'm sure it's making its way around the services via email chain, but I thought it was pretty cool. I'm really surprised that only .45% are serving right now.

quote:
I remember the day I found out I got into West Point.

My mom actually showed up in the hallway of my high school and waited for me
to get out of class. She was bawling her eyes out and apologizing that she
had opened up my admission letter. She wasn't crying because it had been her
dream for me to go there. She was crying because she knew how hard I'd
worked to get in, how much I wanted to attend, and how much I wanted to be
an infantry officer. I was going to get that opportunity.

That same day two of my teachers took me aside and essentially told me the
following: "Nick, you're a smart guy. You don't have to join the military.
You should go to college, instead."

I could easily write a tome defending West Pont and the military as I did
that day, explaining that USMA is an elite institution, that separate from
that it is actually statistically much harder to enlist in the military than
it is to get admitted to college, that serving the nation is a challenge
that all able-bodied men should at least consider for a host of reasons, but
I won't.

What I will say is that when a 16 year-old kid is being told that attending
West Point is going to be bad for his future then there is a dangerous
disconnect in America, and entirely too many Americans have no idea what
kind of burdens our military is bearing.

In World War II, 11.2% of the nation served in four years. In Vietnam, 4.3%
served in 12 years. Since 2001, only 0.45% of our population has served in
the Global War on Terror. These are unbelievable statistics.

Over time, fewer and fewer people have shouldered more and more of the
burden and it is only getting worse. Our troops were sent to war in Iraq by
a Congress consisting of 10% veterans with only one person having a child in
the military. Taxes did not increase to pay for the war. War bonds were not
sold. Gas was not regulated. In fact, the average citizen was asked to
sacrifice nothing, and has sacrificed nothing unless they have chosen to out
of the goodness of their hearts.

The only people who have sacrificed are the veterans and their families. The
volunteers. The people who swore an oath to defend this nation. You.

You stand there, deployment after deployment and fight on. You've lost
relationships, spent years of your lives in extreme conditions, years apart
from kids you'll never get back, and beaten your body in a way that even
professional athletes don't understand. And you come home to a nation that
doesn't understand. They don't understand suffering. They don't understand
sacrifice. They don't understand that bad people exist. They look at you
like you're a machine - like something is wrong with you. You are the
misguided one - not them. When you get out, you sit in the college
classrooms with political science teachers that discount your opinions on
Iraq and Afghanistan because YOU WERE THERE and can't understand the "macro"
issues they gathered from books with your bias. You watch TV shows where
every vet has PTSD and the violent strain at that. Your Congress is debating
your benefits, your retirement, and your pay, while they ask you to do more.

But the amazing thing about you is that you all know this. You know your
country will never pay back what you've given up. You know that the populace
at large will never truly understand or appreciate what you have done for
them. Hell, you know that in some circles, you will be thought as less than
normal for having worn the uniform. But you do it anyway. You do what the
greatest men and women of this country have done since 1775 - YOU SERVED.
Just that decision alone makes you part of an elite group.

Never in the field of human conflict has so much been owed by so many to so
few.

You are the 0.45%.


OleDublinBobcat
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Aggie12B
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As one of the 0.45%, I have to say that that is an exceptionally well written article. I knew the percentage was low, I just didn't realize how low it actually was.

AGGIE12B
JC '88
If you value the Freedom and Liberties you have in your life, be sure to Thank a Veteran everyday!
BeBopAg
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0.45% is more that each class of the current Texas A&M student body who may be destine to serve in the active military of the United States of America.

Reserves, National Guard, Texas State Guard, less than 0.13% from each Aggie student class.

[This message has been edited by BeBopAg (edited 10/26/2011 9:13p).]
bigtruckguy3500
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Care you exlpain your numbers?

Assuming out of an average of 1700 cadets that cycle through the Corps every 4 years, 40% commission (it's actually now closer to 50%), that's roughly 680. Plus the 100 (or possibly more) throughout the Corps and rest of the student body that drop out and enlist or pursue an alternative commissioning program (PLC, HPSP, NBDCP, etc), that's around 800. 800/45000 = .017, or 17%. You might have gotten your decimals mixed up.
GAC06
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No, you have your decimals mixed up. Or you both do, most likely. .017 is 1.7%.

[This message has been edited by GAC06 (edited 10/26/2011 10:22p).]
bigtruckguy3500
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Haha, yes, I mean't to type 1.7% 17% and we'd be spitting out almost twice as many as the service academies.
GAC06
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AG
Still a huge difference between .13% and 1.7%
BeBopAg
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Whatever, out of say 46,000 students at Texas A&M only 782 graduates will actually see a day of military service ?

This math has gotta be wrong !
OleDublinBobcat
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quote:
This math has gotta be wrong!


1. Unfortunately it isn't.
2. That's considered a high percentage in comparison to other institutions.
GAC06
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AG
Where did you get the number 782?
bigtruckguy3500
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Looks like he did .017 * 46000 = 782

Also, I believe that if you factor in all the veterans we have on campus, as well as the MECEPs (25+), and STA21s, it's probably closer to and possibly over 2%.
GAC06
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There has to be a source of real numbers. I was never in the corps at A&M but when I commissioned I got a letter from A&M's commandant so they obviously had a way of following who got commissions even though I had no connection with them.

Either way, I don't really see why the exact percentage of the population serving matters that much. I think it would help for more people to have that experience, but obviously we would have to drastically increase the size of our force just to get a higher percentage of people serving.
airplane driver
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Military service has always been seen as being for "losers" who "can't make it on the outside." That and the fact that American public schools are pushing the idea that whatever bad happens in the world, it is America's fault leads to low enlistment numbers. For those who are serving or have served, I thank you and salute you. (RVN '66)
bigtruckguy3500
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quote:
Military service has always been seen as being for "losers" who "can't make it on the outside."


This is true. After I finish my graduate degree I'm going in, and some people have told me "oh, but you're so smart, why do you need to join the military" or "but you won't make as much money."

quote:
That and the fact that American public schools are pushing the idea that whatever bad happens in the world, it is America's fault leads to low enlistment numbers.


I really don't think this is true. Maybe some interspersed schools here and there, but those are mostly in hippie towns anyways.
sek92
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wasnt that John Kerry big thing, that the military is stupid; if i remember correctly,doesnt the military have some of our smartest kids
OleDublinBobcat
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We thought they were smart until they joined the military. Real intelligence doesn't take orders from anyone.

/my high school
RebelE Infantry
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That quote comes from Nick P, co-owner and co-founder of Ranger Up. Alot of you guys might know about them but for those who don't, RU is a vet owned and operated company geared to making military themed tshirts and sponsoring current and former servicemembers in MMA. Their most famous athletes are Tim Kennedy(Strikeforce-UFC middleweight and Green Beret w/ TXARNG) and Brian Stann(UFC middleweight and former Marine officer- Silver Star recipient.) An outstanding company with outstanding products. Check em out at www.rangerup.com

I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible and die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country. Victory or Death.
William Barret Travis
Lt. Col. Comdt.
24 Feb 1836
Tango Mike
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That 0.45% statistic is quite misleading. My BN CDR touts that number a lot to make himself feel important, but the fact is it is based on bad math. In WW2, Soldiers went to Europe or Asia and didn't go home after a year. The 0.45% is the current number in the military, it doesn't account for those that spent a year in Iraq and then left the military. It doesn't account for those that spent 4 years in a ARNG unit, never deployed, then got out. The number is actually quite higher, you can query the VA for demographics for the age group available for service in the past 11 years.
OldArmy1606
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I have to say that also a draw down in forces is preventing more from joining up and age limits, lol.

With these tough economic times, enlistments and officer recruiting is way up. It has been much harder to get a contract.
CGSC Lobotomy
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quote:
Assuming out of an average of 1700 cadets that cycle through the Corps every 4 years, 40% commission (it's actually now closer to 50%), that's roughly 680. Plus the 100 (or possibly more) throughout the Corps and rest of the student body that drop out and enlist or pursue an alternative commissioning program (PLC, HPSP, NBDCP, etc), that's around 800. 800/45000 = .017, or 17%. You might have gotten your decimals mixed up.


While your math is slightly off, you're not framing the argument correctly. I'll explain:

1. You have to base the percentages off of a class of cadets, not off of the Corps as a whole. Assuming a cadet size of ~1,700 cadets, a percentage of freshmen as about 35%, you have a class that starts off with about 600 cadets. Assume that you attrit about 10% due to punching and another 20% due to grades/other. By the time you reach 2nd pass Final Review, that 600 is down to about 415

2. Using your estimate of those that serve, you get around 800. Divide that over four years and you assume 200 servicemembers per class. Divide that by the 415 remaining in that class and you get 48.2%

3. If you assume that a freshman class overall at A&M has 6,000 students (senior class is the largest because it includes 5th, 6th, etc. year students) and you attrit by the same standards, you end up with 4,200 who graduate.

4. Using the results of points 2 and 3, you come up with 200/4,200, or 4.76% of all Aggies who graduate end up serving.
CGSC Lobotomy
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Using my reasoning, you can then argue that Aggies are TEN TIMES more likely to serve in the military than other Americans.
EGA
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Only one congressman has a child in the military? Wanna double check your facts? Mccain has 2 children in the military... and I guarantee there are dozens more congressmen with children who are/have served.
Represent830
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Don't forget some of us that weren't in the Corps and went other ways (ie. OCS like I did).

Not everyone wanted to be a Corps-dork.
FightnFarmerUSMC
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DUde, I just copied and pasted an email...slow yo roll
CanyonAg77
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Obviously I respect those that serve (including my kid currently in UPT) But I think the numbers are skewed.

Currently 20% of Congress are veterans Though that is down from the 70% back when the WWII generation was serving in the 1970s.

And referring to the kids, I'm having trouble finding numbers. But here's an article from 2007 that lists nine Congressmen with sons and daughters who recently served, and mentions that McCain's son will soon commission and enter the military. Senator Max Bacus lost a nephew in Iraq. Biden has at least one son who served, as did former AG Ashcroft.

more stats


Total living veterans (2009) were 21.9 million. US Population 305m in 2009. So 7.2% of all Americans had served. Men made up 20.4m, so about 13.4% of men had served, about 1% of women.

About 1.7m veterans were under age 35. About (link) 12.1 % of Americans were 18-35 in 2000. Assuming that's still true as of the 2009 link above, about 36.9m Americans were 18-35. That means about 4.6% of that age group has served.

Wiki says that current active duty personnel are about 1.5M with about an equal number of reserve. Given current US population of 307m.

Active duty: 0.481%
Reserve: 0.475%
Combined: 0.956%

[This message has been edited by CanyonAg77 (edited 11/1/2011 8:26a).]
CanyonAg77
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quote:
DUde, I just copied and pasted an email...slow yo roll


When you post something here, you imply that you believe it and agree with it. Take ownership.
EGA
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It's like whoever wrote that thing just pulled a bunch of random stats out of his butt. Anyone with an once of common sense would be smart enough to realize it's bs...
CGSC Lobotomy
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Of the current U.S. Population, you can assume that less than 1 percent are CURRENTLY serving. To attribute that to mean that the remainder HAVEN'T served is dishonest reasoning though.
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