Are active duty military considered veterans?
One common question that seems to arise as the country approaches Veteran's Day is if active duty military are also considered veterans in the US.
This Veteran's Day has significance because of the end of the War in Afghanistan. While there are still active military members stationed all over the world, none of fighting in a formal war.
Under US law, a veteran is defined as a "person who served in the active military, naval, air, or space service, and who was discharged or released therefrom under conditions other than dishonorable.” With this definition, those who are actively serving in the military do not fall under the category of a veteran.
According to Pew Research, in 2021, there were around 19 million veterans in the US. This figure represents around ten percent of the population. The greatest share of these veterans, forty-one percent, served in the Gulf War.
In the statement released by the White House proclaiming Monday 11 November as Veteran's Day, the President highlighted how these courageous men and women, "represent the highest ideals of our country."
President Biden continued saying that "While we can never fully repay the debt we owe these heroes, we will honor their service and provide them the care and support they deserve. We also salute and show gratitude for all who ensure our Armed Forces remain strong, united, and unmatched."
How many active military members are there in the United States?
In 2020, the United States spent $778 billion on its military, representing around thirty-nine percent of total military spending globally. From 2019 to 2020, the US increased its military spending by 6.2 percent.
Which countries spend the most on their militaries?
China spends the second most in the world and by comparison, only allocated $252 billion dollars.
One of the main costs of military spending in the US is salaries. Of the total budget, around $268 billion are spent to pay for military salaries and benefits. The US has more than 1.4 million military members stationed around the world. Around fourteen percent of these members are women.
How many foreign military bases are there in the world?
Another cost is the maintenance of military bases. The United States has around 750 military bases across eighty countries. With 120 bases, Japan has the highest number of bases within its borders. According to the Congressional Budget Office in 2016, the US spent around $25 billion to maintain its network of bases.