Five Amazing Myths of the US Military Debunked

There are over 330 million people living in the US, out of which only 1.4 million serve in the military. This is less than 0.4 percent. Most US citizens do not think of serving in the military and make assumptions based on Hollywood movies. The following are five myths that have been created in a Hollywood studio that most people think are true.

If you’re in the Air Force, You only Fly

This may come as a surprise to many folks simply because we all picture an F-16 when we think of the air force. But, not everyone who is in the air force flies jets or C-130s. Some are assigned for the maintenance of the aircraft, while others serve in administration, intelligence and other fields within the air force. It’s a surprising fact but there are more pilots in the navy as compared to the air force, which should be no surprise since the US navy commands eleven carrier groups, each of which house seventy aircraft.

I’m a US Citizen, therefore I Can Always Join the Military

While this may have been true a century ago, the standards of enlisting new recruits in the military went way up in the 70s, when the all volunteer system was introduced. To be eligible for military service, you need to graduate from high school or college, have no medical conditions or criminal record, and you also have to pass a test, which according to the Pentagon, has a pass rate of around 25%, much of which is due to the growing problem of obesity in today’s youth.

Join the Military or Go To Prison

The story of a man from Arlington, Virginia who plead guilty of a crime and was then sentenced by a judge to enlist in the military in lieu of taking the prison sentence made waves back in 2006. But, the truth is while the man may have been given permission to join the military instead, the military follows a strict vetting process during recruiting, which is carried out by the FBI. Besides a person with a felony record is not eligible to join any branch of the military. For those who were wondering, the army said no to that man’s application. There’s no way out, if you break the law, you’re going to prison.

If You’re a Woman, You Won’t Go Far in the Military

Women have served in active duty since 1948 after then president Truman signed the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act. Since then women have proven to be more than capable in almost every branch of the military. As of 2014, there are over 200,000 in active duty, 36,000 women that are enlisted in officer corps, 69 are generals and admirals. The only reason why there’s no female chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff is because women were not allowed to take part in combat branches, although females could rise up to the ranks of general. But, that ban too has been lifted, and we will be seeing a lot of women filling those positions as well.

Boot Camp is Like the Movies

Due to a number of movies which show army boot camps, many people are under the impression that boot camps are designed to make you fail. But, on the contrary, most applicants are shocked once they enter a boot camp and find that it is nothing like the ones they show in the movies. Drill sergeants are not allowed to touch the cadets without their permission, so shaming and hazing are strictly prohibited. There’s also no “drop-and-give-me-twenty” routine, which was made famous in the movies.

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