May is Military Appreciation Month. Throughout the month members of the U.S. Armed Forces are honored via ceremonies, parades and discounts at a variety of businesses. Today is Armed Forces Day, the culmination of Armed Forces Week and a formal day to recognize and show appreciation for those who serve. To celebrate this holiday we present 10 facts about the U.S. Armed Forces.
Fact #1: While the Constitution gave Congress the right to create an army in 1788, it wasn’t until Sept 1789, under multiple pleas from President George Washington, that the Congress passed a bill that said allowed the president “to call into service, from time to time, such part of the militia of the states, respectively, as he may judge necessary.”
Fact #2: The Department of Defense owns 29,819,492 acres of land worldwide.
Fact #3: The Department of Defense employs about 1.8 million people on active duty. It is the largest employer in the United States, with more employees than Exxon, Mobil, Ford, General Motors, and GE combined!
Fact #4: Civil War, when the Union and Confederacy lost at least 618,000 men between them—and possibly many more—to bullets and disease. Only WWII has come close in terms of American deaths at 405,000.
Fact #5: The first use of camouflage dates back to 1898 when U.S. troops in Cuba purportedly smeared mud on themselves so as to better avoid enemy snipers.
Fact #6: The Coast Guard seizes 169 pounds of marijuana and 306 pounds of cocaine, worth about $9,589,000.00 everyday.
Fact #7: The U.S. Air Force was part of the Army until 1946. It was called the Army Air Corp.
Fact #8: The Pentagon has no marble because it was built during World War II, and Italy, the source of marble, was an enemy country.
Fact #9: Many of the U.S. Presidents served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Two earned the rank of 5-star General (Washington and Eisenhower) and one earned the Medal of Honor (T. Roosevelt).
Fact #10: While women were found on the battlefield of the Revolutionary War as nurses, seamstresses and cooks, it wasn’t until the establishment of the Army and Navy Nurse Corps in 1901 and 1908, respectively that they could officially enlist.