How many people are employed in the U.S. Armed Forces?
The U.S. military is the largest organization in world! We have 1.4 million active duty personnel and a further 1.3 million people who serve in seven reserve components.
The military is another example of the misalignment between U.S. education and U.S. occupations that utilize the international system of measurement—the metric system! In the military, metric units are primarily used to ensure interoperability with allied forces, but also for ease of use. Ground forces measure distances in “klicks,” a slang word for kilometers. Most military firearms are measured in metric units (with a few legacy exceptions such as .50-caliber guns). Heavy caliber weapons are measured in millimeters. Military vehicles are generally built to metric standards. A single exception is the U.S. Navy, whose guns are measured in inches and whose undersea fleet measures distances in terms of “kiloyards” (defined as a fraction of a metric unit, at 914.4 m), depth in “feet” and velocity, in some cases, as “feet per second.” When they enlist, our honorable Armed Forces troops are often quickly required to adapt to the metric system.