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What percentage of soldiers see combat?

Advertisements for the military may make you think that almost everyone who joins up sees combat, but that is not actually the case. Even in the modern world, with wars that seem to drag on for decades, most soldiers do not ever have to fire their weapons.

To get a better grasp on what this looks like, here are some key statistics:

  • Roughly 40% of those who join the military never get deployed to a combat zone at all.
  • 10% to 20% of those who do find themselves on a deployment wind up in a combat zone. Remember, that is not 10 to 20% of the total. It is just 10 to 20% of the 60% who get deployed.
  • Most of the troops who do end up in combat zones do not actually enter combat against the enemy. They are support troops backing up those who do.
  • When you break it down, about one out of every 10 soldiers in the military — 10% overall — actually go to combat and have to fire their weapons.

This is part of the reason that it can be so hard for soldiers to adjust when they come home after seeing combat. They may deal with stress, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other such issues. Not only do they feel like it is hard for civilians to understand what they have been though, but even within the military itself, the number of soldiers who have been in the same situation is very small.

It’s critical for all veterans to know what legal options they have when returning home.

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