I was just watching one of the news channels where a correspondent was interviewing a voter. Now this gentleman is definitely entitled to his own opinion, but one statement struck me nearly speechless.
“this country is based on the military…”
no. This country is based on little things like rule of law, the rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, various rights and freedoms adjudicated as such by the Supreme Court. But never, to the best of my knowledge, has the “right of the military” been among them.
The Military is but one of many, many departments and agencies within the Executive Branch. And going back to that pesky little document called the Constitution, the military is not at the top of the heap. Civilian leaders are. Always. The former Generals who have held the post of president always resigned their commissions before taking office, because the constitution says they must.(Interesting side note: Grant Eisenhower, Washington and Jackson were returned to their pre-presidency ranks by act of Congress. In every instance except Eisenhower. this was posthumous. Additionally those officers who had been designated either General of the Army or General of the Armies-Pershing-were returned to that rank by act of congress, because those were higher ranks than actually existed and were conferred for crisis situations like wars. But all were either made permanent ranks, in most cases posthumously, excepting Omar Bradley and MacArthur. Pershing had the effective rank of six star general. This same was true for the Fleet Admirals of WWII, as well as for Sherman who also held the position of General of the Army).
Now bak up just a little. None of those presidents held any military rank while president. None.
That is because the United States is not, and never will be, based on the military!
Ready for some statistics? I promise it won’t hurt much.
At the end of Fiscal Year 2014, the Office of Personnel Management reported that there were 2,79,000 civilian employees of the executive branch, exclusive of the military. Other than Civilian employees of the Defense Department, there were 1,356,940 employees, and 723,000 civilians at the DOD.
That is all full, part-time and intermittent employees. It does not reflect contractors, none of whom would be military working as military contractors . It also does not include employees of the USPS.
That is nearly a 2 to 1 ratio of civilian agencies over the DOD, and all are civilians!
So, t5he military is only one part of the government. Plus there is the legislative as well as the judicial branches.
The numbers boggle the mind. As yet I have not found any stats on how any people work for the Legislative branch, but consider the numbers of staffers you see for senators and congressman, add into that permanent employees at the Capitol complex (there are literally hundreds of police, engineers, janitorial, and heaven knows what else who are permanent employees.)
Then the Judicial branch. While the Federal Courthouses I have been in seem to be beehives of activity, you might see little of it in evidencs. But keep in mind there are clerical employees, guards and probably police (the Supreme Court has police) and don’t forget the U.S. marshals service.
Over all, there have to be at least in the tens of thousands for those two branches.
So. The United States is not founded on or based on the military. The Military is but a small part of it. Important in todays world, of course. But consider that only about 1% of U.S. population are or have ever served in the Armed Forces. Because of their ages, that actually would include WWII veterans. Of course during WWII the percentage would have been much larger, but that was a true, all-out world war.
But since then, the numbers have dropped so that starting with 1950 at the beinning of the Korean War up until now, the figure is 1%.
Good place to check these numbers is the aforementioned Office of Personnel Management (OPM) or use the Government Portal at usa.gov
And now that we have covered the Federal Government, let us not forget that this country is made up of 50 states plus some self governing territories and they also have governmnt employees. and Counties, citis, school districts Tribal governments and of course independent agencies.
So, beginning alphabetically with Alabama…oh, no. I aint’ goin’ there!
just remember. This is a civilian governed country. The founders did not want a scenario in which the Army could gain power. So, this country is based on the rights of those citizens, and a government must ensure those rights and freedoms.
Should have paid more attention in civics class.