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 US Military Personnel Deaths During War and Military Operations


Wars and military conflicts have resulted in the deaths of more than 1,316,000 soldiers and military personnel during the history of the United States. November 11th is Veterans Day. Regardless of your politicial affiliation or feelings about war, please remember to honor our military personnel who have sacrificed life and limb during military actions.


Initially Veterans Day was called Armistice Day to honor the military veterans who had served in World War I. November 11, 1918 was choosen to honor both war veterans and to celebrate the signing of the peace treaty between Germany and the Allied Forces that officially ended World War One. In 1921 Congress declared November 11th a Federal legal holiday.


The number of US military veterans increased after WW II and the Korean War. This increase in veterans led President Eisenhower to sign into legislation the official name change of Armistice Day to Veterans Day in 1954. 


Legislation was signed in 1975 that made Veterans Day a permanent Federal Holiday. This Law was finally enacted in 1978.


Memorial Day was started by Civil War Union veterans and was originally called Decoration Day. It became an offical holiday in 1971 and is celebrated on the last Monday in May.


The difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day is Memorial Day honors military personel who died while serving in the military and Veterans Day honors all who have served in the military. 


More than 300,000 United States military casualties of war are buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Wahington, DC. 


Causalties and fatalities do not take into consideration the millions of civilians who lost their lives nor do they take into account suicide deaths related to military service or disabled and wounded soldiers.


As of 12/15/11, the date when the War in Iraq officially ended, at least 4,480 American soldiers and military personnel have died in the War in Iraq. Before this conflict is resolved no one knows how many more United States soldiers and Iraqi civilians will have lost their lives. Recent violence in the War in Afghanistan has increased the number of deaths to members of the US military to at least 2227 as of 05/16/2013.


                                                             Peacetime US Military Fatalities


Thousands of soldiers have died during times of peace and are not included in the numbers below. Peacetime casualties usually occur during military training and exercises’, transportation of troops, accidents, homicide, disease and other causes.


The loss of United States military lives during peacetime and peace keeping while assisting in international conflicts is surprising high. In 1980 almost 2400 American soldiers died while President Jimmy Carter was in office. Just over 17,000 members of the armed forces lost their lives during the years Ronald Regan was Commander and Chief. Under the President Bill Clinton Administration almost 7,500 military casualties were incurred. Even during times of peace many soldiers make the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country.


Wounded and Disabled Veterans


Over 30,000 members of the United States military have been wounded in the War in Iraq, 17,674 in Afghanistan, almost 500 during the Persian Gulf War, 155,000 in the Vietnam War, over 100,000 in the Korean War, 672,000 in World War II and 200,000+ in World War I. More than 280,000 Union Soldiers and over 300,000 Confederate Soldiers were injured in the Civil War.


Number of Military Personnel Combat Fatalities In US History


War or Conflict


War in Iraq 

War in Afghanistan



2003 - 2011

2002 - present

      Death Totals








1992 -1993


 Gulf War



 Invasion of Panama



 Invasion of Grenada




1982 -1984


 Vietnam War

1964 - 1973


 Korean War

1950 - 1953


 World War 2

1941 - 1945


 World War 1

1917 - 1918


 Haitian Occupation

1915 - 1935


 Philippine War

1898 - 1902


 Spanish – American War



 Indian Wars

1865 - 1898

                919 *

 Civil War

1861 - 1865


 Mexican – American War

1846 - 1848


 Second Seminole War

1835 -1842


 War of 1812

1812 - 1815


 Revolutionary War

1775 - 1783

            25,000 *


Military historians debate figures marked with *


United States soldiers were also killed in El Salvador, the Boxer Rebellion and various other military conflicts through out US history.


There are no inclusive figures that account for all the men and women who died from war or war related experiences nor can the suffering of their families ever be measured by cold statistics. Additionally millions of civilian lives have been lost during wars through out our military history.


As United States citizens we should all remember and honor those who have served or lost their lives fighting on behalf of the USA.


In 1973 the United Stated ended the draft and manditory military conscription. Since that time serving in the military forces has been on an all volunteer basis. 


During the Civil War it was General William Sherman who said, “War is hell”. More than 200 years and 29 US military conflicts later no truer words have ever been spoken.


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