The U.S. Army has about 535,000
troops on the payroll. But it can't put 535,000 people with guns into, say,
Iraq, all at once. That's because of
turnover and administrative needs. The "turnover" is mainly the fact that the
army loses 80,000 people each year. Not to combat, less than two percent are
killed or badly wounded (and given a medical discharge) in action each year.
Most of the rest retire, or leave because their enlistments are up. A few
percent are fired (given an
administrative discharge or, in cases of bad behavior, a dishonorable
any time, about twenty percent of the troops are involved with training at special
facilities (basic training for new recruits, but also specialist schools). This
includes the trainers (most of them are military, but a large minority are
civilians), recruiters, plus people who care caught up in one administrative
procedure or another and not available.