Who Are Americans? Interactive Exercises

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Who Serves in the U.S. Military?

The Department of Defense and the U.S. military are often responsible for implementing foreign policy that relates to security. Who are the men and women in the armed forces? The military has a far greater proportion of men to women than the general population, but in terms of race and ethnicity, the military is fairly similar to the United States as a whole. Residents of Southern states are significantly more likely to enlist than those from other regions.

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1.
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What social factors may contribute to the gender gap in the U.S. military?
2.
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What impact might the gender gap have on the culture within the U.S. military?
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3. According to the graphic, which group has the smallest representation in the U.S. military? What group has the largest?
4. Are these finding consistent with the overall U.S. population?

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5. What factors might explain the high level of high school graduates in the U.S. military as compared to the general U.S. population?
6. What incentives might promote education within the U.S. military?
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7.
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Which region has the largest population in the U.S. military? Which region has the smallest population? How do these data compare to the U.S. population?
8.
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Historically, Southerners have had larger representation in the U.S. military than Northerners. Why do you think this pattern persists over time?
9.
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NPR has a special series dedicated to the stories and profiles of “Those Who Serve.” Look at the top stories and the data posted on their website. What patterns emerged regarding those who chose to enlist in the U.S. military? Did the data from NPR conflict with or confirm the information presented in this section?

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