Peace Time: May 25, 2002

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To support the War on Terrorism, the U.S. military has put on active duty 81,403 men and women. For the army, that's 29,097, for the navy- 9,056; Air Force- 37,228; Marine Corps- 4,298; and the Coast Guard Reserve- 1,724. The reservists (which includes the National Guard), the usual period of active duty is six months, but it can vary from a month (or even less) to over a year. Thus at the current rate of activation, some 160,000 reservists will be activated each year. During the Gulf War in 1990-91, a quarter million reservists were activated. There are currently nearly 1.3 million people in the reserves. In the event of a major war, all would be activated, "for the duration" (until the war was over.) That level of activation would probably bring back the draft (which is still in existence, although no one has been called to service in the past 30 years.)

 


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