Too Many Women in the U.S. Military? Here are the numbers.

Women now comprise nearly 19% of our total military force and 17% of active duty force. Breakdown by service follows from highest to lowest %.

  1. Air Force — 21.3%
  2. Navy — 20.5%
  3. Space Force — 19.7%
  4. Army — 15.5%
  5. USMC — 9.1%

This US Military Branch Has the Most Women

By Josie Green

Total DOD military force

  • Women in the total DOD military force: 401,651
  • Men in the total DOD military force: 1,728,001
  • Share of women in the total DOD military force: 18.9%
  • Total DOD military force personnel: 2,129,656

Active duty members

  • Women active duty members: 231,741 (including 45,371 officers)
  • Men active duty members: 1,104,106 (including 191,017 officers)
  • Share of women active duty members: 17.3%
  • Total active duty personnel: 1,335,848


  • Women in the Army: 74,873 (including 17,275 officers)
  • Men in the Army: 407,543 (including 76,495 officers)
  • Share of women service members in the Army: 15.5%
  • Total Army personnel: 482,416


  • Women in the Navy: 70,252 (including 11,444 officers)
  • Men in the Navy: 272,971 (including 44,600 officers)
  • Share of women service members in the Navy: 20.5%
  • Total Navy personnel: 343,223

Marine Corps

  • Women in the Marine Corps: 16,301 (including 1,981 officers)
  • Men in the Marine Corps: 163,377 (including 19,720 officers)
  • Share of women service members in the Marine Corps: 9.1%
  • Total Marine Corps personnel: 179,678

Women have increasingly joined the U.S. Armed Forces over the last 50 years. Before the country ended military conscription in 1973, women made up about 1% of active-duty personnel. As of 2021, the share of women on active duty in the military had increased to 17.3%. The percentage of women serving as commissioned officers also rose accordingly, from 4% in 1973 to 20% in 2021. (A few nations have a much higher share of women service members. These are the countries with the most women serving in the military. )

As women began establishing themselves in diverse roles and leadership positions in the ‘80s and ‘90s, debates about women in combat took the floor. In 1994, President Clinton took a small step and rescinded a 1988 “Risk Rule,” essentially allowing women to serve in all roles except for direct ground combat. And in 2015, the historic ban on women serving in combat positions was lifted, opening the doors for them to serve in almost any military role.

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©2023. Royal A. Brown III. All rights reserved.

1 reply
  1. Royal Allen Brown III
    Royal Allen Brown III says:

    Women being pushed into direct combat positions is a STUPID idea as very few can meet the strength & endurance standards required of combat arms like infantry, armor, front line artillery, combat engineers, Rangers, Force Recon, Special Forces, Delta Force, SEALS etc.

    Those few who have made it were helped by lowering standards below those required for their male counterparts. Then there are other factors which reduce combat readiness and deployability like pregnancies and menstruation periods.

    Further, there are the emotions and hormones involved where men and women are together as battle buddies and love or passion blooms and/or men feel compelled to protect women even at the risk of their own lives and those of others.

    This policy is all about providing Equity not opportunity or even equality for women. Most General Officers and Admirals come from combat branches or line services and are; therefore, men. This policy of placing women in direct combat position stems from making them more eligible to achieve top level Flag Ranks. This is the wrong reason and is not based on qualifications as it should be.

    USMC tests of two infantry companies, one consisting of all men and other of a combo of men and women conducted before this policy went into place proved several facts. 1. Women suffered 30% more debilitating injuries than men meaning someong else had to perform their tasks in their absence. 2. The mixed company did not perform their missions as well as the all male companies based on a variety of evaluative criteria. Nevertheless the policy was implimented by a woke DOD.

    The best answer is to create all female combat units and then see what happens eg. evaluate their performance.

    There are cetainly positions in all services that qualified women can perform equally well as qualified men but shouldn’t be in direct combat positions. It is often brought up that women serve well in Israeli Defense Forces but this is mixing apples and oranges. These women serve as reserve forces out of necessity in a country completely surrounded/bordered by Islamic enemy countries who want to destroy their country and their people. This is not the case in the USA.

    The Obama 3/Biden regime wants our military to be less threatening to the new world order and weaker. The forcing of women into direct combat positions helps with this goal. The overall result of this policy is that Physical Fitness and Critical Mission Task Standards have been lowered thus reducing combat readiness and deployability of our military services.


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