Drawing Down Troops From Iraq
“As a candidate for President, I pledged to bring war in Iraq to a responsible end, so today I can report that, as promised, the rest of our troops in Iraq will come home by the end of the year”
— President Barack Obama, Oct 21, 2011
Current U.S. Military Status
- 1,425,113 active service members
- 15% are active internationally
- Nearly 1.5 million have served in Iraq since 2003
Active in Iraq
- 56% – U.S. Army
- 24% – U.S. Navy
- 17% – U.S. Air Force
- 3% – Marines
The number of troops in Iraq has been reduced by 57% in just two months.
- 46,000 in Sept.
- 20,000 in Nov.
Nearly all 40,000 U.S. service members will be removed from Iraq by 2012.
Only 200 U.S. military personnel will remain to guard the American embassy in Baghdad and maintain a military relationship with the Iraqi Armed Forces.
Women Service Members
- 15% of active U.S. service members are women.
- Since 2003, 206,000 women have served in the Middle East, mostly Iraq.
- 4,885 U.S. service members have died in Iraq
- 80% in hostile / 20% in non-hostile incidents
- 2,200 children have lost a parent in Iraq or Afghanistan
- Since 2008, nearly 2.7 million active-duty service members have been deployed; of those, 40% have been deployed multiple times.
- 31 out of 44 Army combat brigades have been deployed multiple times to Iraq or Afghanistan.
- Since September 22, 2001, 638,000 troops have been deployed more than once.
Number of Deployments
- 1 Deployment: 60% of deployed service members
- 2 Deployments: 27% of deployed service members
- 3 Deployments: 9% of deployed service members
- 4 Deployments: 4% of deployed service members
From Spring 2007 to Summer 2008, active-duty Army combat tours were increased from 12 to 15 months.
Transition to Civilian Life
- 93% of all enlisted U.S. troop earned a high school diploma or equivalent.
- More than 600,000 service members have taken advantage of education funding through the G.I. Bill.
- The new G.I. Bill provides upfront tuition payments directly to the school, a monthly living allowance and a book stipend of $1,000 per year.
- To qualify, a veteran must have served at least 90 days of active-duty service post-9/11.
- 35% of service members who see combat will likely experience significant mental illnesses, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety and depression.
- 20% of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans screen positive for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or depression.
- 12% of service members report alcohol problems on post-deployment health assessment forms.
- In 2010, the U.S. military lost more troops to suicide than combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.
- Military reported 434 suicides by personnel on active duty.
Although military divorce rates match those of civilians, the marriages of female troops were 3 times more likely to fail than those of males.
- 28% of veterans under the age of 30 are unemployed.
- There are currently 300,000 unemployed veterans in the U.S.
- 61% of employers think they don’t completely understand veterans’ civilian workforce qualifications
More than 2,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have already used the Department of Veterans Affairs’ homeless outreach program.
What Is Being Done To Help?
Through these initiatives and organizations, the U.S. government is committed to helping veterans:
VOW to Hire Heroes Act
- Extension of G.I. Bill and employment benefits
- Tax credits for unemployed vets and businesses that hire vets
The Yellow Ribbon Program
- Extra tuition funding to attend private universities with government and school matching aid
DCoE for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury
- Guidance in prevention, identification and treatment of mental and cerebral conditions across all defense programs.
© The University of Southern California for its USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. All rights reserved.