The Hive Law

119 US Military War Deaths Statistics (Death Toll By Branch, War, & President)

American Deaths By War - US War Deaths - US Military Deaths By War - Wars By Death Toll

This article is covering all of the information about US military deaths. 

You’ll learn about:

  • how many people died in each war
  • what’s the most dangerous military branch
  • which branch soldiers are most likely to die in
  • which president has the most military deaths
  • how many military deaths Trump has compared to Obama and Bush
  • how much more likely you are to die in the Army

And much more.

Let’s dig into the key statistics on US military deaths.

Table of Contents

Key Statistics on US Military Deaths

  • There have been 186% more deaths in Iraq than in Afghanistan.
  • 1,373% more troops died PER YEAR in Afghanistan under Obama than Trump.
  • 1,758 troops died in Afghanistan under Obama vs 64 troops under Trump.
  • Troops in the Army are 2,528% more likely to die than in the Air Force.
  • The death rate in the Army is 98% of the other military branches COMBINED.
  • For every 1,000 US Army troops, 34.6 have died.
  • For every 1,000 Marine Corps troops, 24 have died.
  • For every 1,000 Navy troops, 9.8 have died.
  • For every 1,000 Air Force troops, 1.4 have died.
  • The US Army is the most dangerous military branch with the most military casualties.
  • The Air Force is the safest military branch.
  • World War II had the most US deaths at 405,399.
  • The Civil War had the second most US deaths at 364,511.
  • World War II has 67% of the deaths of all the wars in the last 250 years COMBINED.
  • WWII has 177% of the deaths of all the wars in the last 100 years COMBINED.
  • The Civil War had 89.9% of military personnel deaths as World War II at 364,511 deaths.
  • The average Army life expectancy is 69.85 years.

A List Of The U.S. War Deaths

The American Deaths By War

Here are the U.S. deaths by war.

US War Deaths - Wars By Death Toll - US Deaths By War - American Deaths By War
War# of US Military Deaths# of Soldiers ServedUS Military Death Rate
American Revolutionary War4,435217,0002.0%
War of 18122,260286,7300.8%
Mexican–American War13,22878,71816.8%
Civil War364,5112,215,74916.5%
Spanish–American War2,446306,7600.8%
Philippine–American War4,196125,0003.4%
World War I116,5164,734,9912.5%
World War II405,39916,112,5662.5%
Korean War36,5745,720,0000.6%
Vietnam War58,2208,744,0000.7%
Persian Gulf War3832,225,0000.0%
Total1,008,16840,766,5142.5%

How Many US Soldiers Died In Iraq?

4,586 US soldiers have died in Iraq.

This table shows how many people died in the Iraq war per year.

How Many US Soldiers Died In Iraq
Year# of Deaths
20010
20020
2003486
2004849
2005846
2006823
2007904
2008314
2009148
201062
201158
20122
20130
20144
20158
201620
201722
201817
201912
202011
20210

Death Toll In Iraq vs Death Toll In Afghanistan

Death Toll In Iraq vs Death Toll In Afghanistan - How Many US Soldiers Died In Afghanistan - How Many US Soldiers Died In Iraq
  • The death toll in Iraq is up to 4,586 US soldiers.
  • The death toll in Afghanistan is up to 2,456 US soldiers.

There have been 186% more deaths in Iraq than in Afghanistan.

This means the Iraq death toll is 1.86x higher than Afghanistan’s.

US Deaths In Afghanistan By Year - How Many US Soldiers Died In Iraq - US Military Deaths Afghanistan Iraq
YearAfghanistanIraq
2001120
2002490
200348486
200452849
200599846
200698823
2007117904
2008155314
2009317148
201049862
201141558
20123102
20131280
2014554
2015228
20161320
20171522
20181417
20192412
20201111
2021130

US Military Casualties In The Persian Gulf War

US Military Casualties In The Persian Gulf War - Desert Storm Casualties

383 American soldiers died in the Persian Gulf War.

  • Army – 224
  • Navy – 56
  • Marines – 68
  • Air Force – 35

US military deaths in the Persian Gulf War by percentages.

  • Army – 58%
  • Navy – 15%
  • Marines – 18%
  • Air Force – 9%

The number of military serving per branch:

  • Army – 782,000
  • Navy – 669,000
  • Marines – 213,000
  • Air Force – 561,000

How many people died in the Persian Gulf War compared to how many served?

  • Army – 0.03%
  • Navy – 0.01%
  • Marines – 0.03%
  • Air Force – 0.01%

Summary of US military deaths in the Persian Gulf War:

  • Marines were 511% more likely to die than Air Force in the Persian Gulf War.
  • Air Force was the least likely to die in the Persian Gulf War.
  • Marines were the most likely to die in the Persian Gulf War.

How Many People Died In The Vietnam War?

How Many People Died In The Vietnam War - Vietnam War Casualties - Vietnam War Deaths - How Many Soldiers Died In The Vietnam War

58,220 American soldiers died in the Vietnam War.

  • Army – 38,224
  • Navy – 2,566
  • Marines – 14,844
  • Air Force – 2,586

US military deaths in the Vietnam War by percentages.

  • Army – 66%
  • Navy – 4%
  • Marines – 41%
  • Air Force – 4%

The number of military serving per branch:

  • Army – 4,368,000
  • Navy – 1,842,000
  • Marines – 794,000
  • Air Force – 1,740,000

How many people died in the Vietnam War compared to how many served?

  • Army – 0.88%
  • Navy – 0.14%
  • Marines – 1.87%
  • Air Force – 0.15%

Summary of US military deaths in the Vietnam War:

  • Marines were 1,257% more likely to die than Air Force in the Vietnam War.
  • 574% MORE Marines died than Air Force in the Vietnam War.
  • 257% MORE of the Army died than Marines in the Vietnam War.
  • Air Force was the least likely to die in the Vietnam War.
  • Marines were the most likely to die in the Vietnam War.

What Percentage Of Vietnam Veterans Actually Saw Combat?

Only 10% of Vietnam Veterans saw combat, or 1 out of every 10 Vietnam Veterans.

Most Vietnam Veterans were mechanics, scientists, engineers, and information technologists.

How Many Americans Died In The Korean War?

How Many Americans Died In The Korean War

36,574 American soldiers died in the Korean War.

  • Army – 29,856
  • Navy – 657
  • Marines – 4,509
  • Air Force – 1,552
Korean War Casualties Deaths - How Many Americans Died In The Korean War

US military deaths in the Korean War by percentages.

  • Army – 82%
  • Navy – 2%
  • Marines – 12%
  • Air Force – 4%

The number of military serving per branch:

  • Army – 2,834,000
  • Navy – 1,177,000
  • Marines – 424,000
  • Air Force – 1,285,000

How many people died in the Korean War compared to how many served?

  • Army – 0.88%
  • Navy – 0.14%
  • Marines – 1.87%
  • Air Force – 0.15%

Summary of US military deaths in the Korean War:

  • Marines were 1,905% more likely to die than the Navy in the Korean War.
  • 4,544% MORE of the Army died than the Navy in the Korean War.
  • 668% MORE of the Army died than Marines in the Korean War.
  • Army deaths accounted for 82% of the US military deaths in the Korean War.
  • The Navy was the least likely to die in the Korean War.
  • Marines were the most likely to die in the Korean War.

How Many US Soldiers Died In World War II?

How Many US Soldiers Died In World War II - WW2 Casualties - How Many People Died In WW2 - WW2 Casualties

The total US death toll during World War II was 405,399.

  • Army – 318,274
  • Navy – 62,614
  • Marines – 24,511
How Many People Died In WWII - US Casualties In WW2 - Deaths In WW2 - American Death Toll WW2

US military deaths in World War II by percentages.

  • Army – 79%
  • Navy – 15%
  • Marines – 6%

The number of military serving per branch:

  • Army – 11,260,000
  • Navy – 4,183,466
  • Marines – 669,100

How many people died in World War II compared to how many served?

  • Army – 2.83%
  • Navy – 1.5%
  • Marines – 3.66%

Summary of US military deaths in World War II:

  • In World War II, marines were 244% more likely to die than the Navy.
  • World War II had the most American deaths in U.S. military history.
  • 508% MORE of the Army died than the Navy in World War II.
  • 1,298% MORE of the Army died than Marines in World War II.
  • Army deaths accounted for 79% of the US military deaths in World War II.
  • The Navy was the least likely to die in World War II.
  • Marines were the most likely to die in World War II.

How Many US Troops Died On D-Day?

2,501 US troops died on D-Day.

This is according to John Long of the National D-Day Memorial Foundation.

The amount of troops that died on D-Day usually gets reported as around 10,000.

The estimation for 10,000 deaths takes into account:

  • US military deaths
  • Allied nation deaths
  • German deaths

John Long says that includes the number of deaths for ALL US troops, US Allies, and Germany.

The memorial site in Bedford, Virginia shows 4,414 names on the bronze plaques.

This number comes from Carol Tuckwiller.

2,501 were US casualties for troops who died on D-Day.

1,913 fatalities were Allies that died on D-Day.

How Many Died In World War I?

How Many Died In WW1 - WW1 Casualties - WW1 Deaths - Death Count of WW1 - How Many Soldiers Died In WW1

The total US death toll during World War I was 116,516.

  • Army – 106,378
  • Navy – 7,287
  • Marines – 2,851

US military deaths in World War I by percentages.

  • Army – 91%
  • Navy – 6%
  • Marines – 2%

The number of military serving per branch:

  • Army – 4,057,101
  • Navy – 599,051
  • Marines – 78,839

How many people died in World War I compared to how many served?

  • Army – 2.62%
  • Navy – 1.22%
  • Marines – 3.62%

Summary of US military deaths in World War I:

  • Marines were 297% more likely to die than the Navy in World War I.
  • 1,459% MORE of the Army died than the Navy in World War I.
  • 3,731% MORE of the Army died than Marines in World War I.
  • Army deaths accounted for 91% of the US war casualties in World War I.
  • The Navy was the least likely to die in World War I.
  • Marines were the most likely to die in World War I.

How Many People Died In The Civil War?

How Many People Died In The Civil War - Civil War Casualties - Civil War Death Toll - How Many Soldiers Died In The Civil War

364,511 American soldiers died in the Civil War.

  • Army – 359,528
  • Navy – 4,523
  • Marines – 460
US Civil War Deaths - How Many People Died During The Civil War

US military deaths in the Civil War by percentages.

  • Army – 99%
  • Navy – 1.2%
  • Marines – 0.1%

The number of military serving per branch:

  • Army – 2,128,948
  • Navy – 84,415
  • Marines – 2,386

Note that there are only records of how many Confederate Marine Corps were in the Civil War.

How many people died in the Civil War compared to how many served?

  • Army – 16.89%
  • Navy – 5.36%
  • Marines – 19.28%

Summary of US military deaths in the Civil War:

  • Marines were 359% more likely to die than the Navy in the Civil War.
  • 7,948% MORE of the Army died than the Navy in the Civil War.
  • 78,158% MORE of the Army died than Marines in the Civil War.
  • Army deaths accounted for 99% of the US military deaths in the Civil War.
  • The Navy was the least likely to die in the Civil War.
  • Marines were the most likely to die in the Civil War.

What War Had The Most Deaths?

The highest casualty way was World War II with 405,399 US military deaths.

The second highest casualty was was the Civil War with 364,511 US military deaths.

US Deaths In Afghanistan By Year

We’re going to talk about US deaths in Afghanistan by year for:

  • Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)
  • Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF)

Operation Iraqi Freedom was named after Iraq.

Its goal in the War on Terror was to:

  • eradicate the weapons of mass destruction
  • remove the Saddam Hussein regime

Operation Enduring Freedom was the Global War on Terrorism after the 9/11 attacks.

Its goal was to eradicate Osama Bin Laden and the Al-Qaeda terrorist group.

So, the US deaths in Afghanistan by year are:

Year# of Deaths
200112
200249
200348
200452
200599
200698
2007117
2008155
2009317
2010498
2011415
2012310
2013128
201455
201522
201613
201715
201814
201924
202011
202113

US Military Deaths In Afghanistan

There have been 2,465 US military deaths in Afghanistan so far.

This military service data comes from the gov’s U.S. Department of Defense (DOD).

The US military deaths account for the following operations:

  • Operation Iraqi Freedom: 4,431 (2003-2010, primarily in Iraq)
  • Operation Enduring Freedom: 2,352 (2001-2014, primarily in Afghanistan)
  • Operation Inherent Resolve: 109 (2014-present, primarily in Iraq, Syria, and Libya)
  • Operation Freedom’s Sentinel: 109 (2014-2021, Afghanistan only)
  • Operation New Dawn: 74 (2010-2011, primarily in Iraq)
Afghanistan OperationsUS Military Deaths In AfghanistanYears of Operations
Operation Iraqi Freedom4,4312003-2010
Operation Enduring Freedom2,3522001-2014
Operation Inherent Resolve1092014-Present
Operation Freedom's Sentinel1092014-2021
Operation New Dawn742010-2011

How Many Soldiers Died In Afghanistan In 2021?

13 soldiers died in Afghanistan in 2021 under the Biden administration.

How Many Soldiers Died In Afghanistan In 2018?

14 soldiers died in Afghanistan in 2018 under the Trump administration.

How Many Troops Died In Afghanistan Under Each President Totals

How Many Troops Died In Afghanistan Under Each President?

  • George W Bush – 2001-2009 – 618
  • Barack Obama – 2009 – 2017 – 1758
  • Donald Trump – 2017 – 2021 – 64

But it’s not fair to look at it like this.

These presidents served different length of terms in office.

How Many Troops Died In Afghanistan Under Each President - Annual Averages

So, let’s look at how many troops died in Afghanistan under each president per year.

  • George W Bush – 88 per year
  • Barack Obama – 220 per year
  • Donald Trump – 16 per year

Let’s look at some key points about this data.

  • 1,373% more troops died PER YEAR in Afghanistan under Obama than Trump.
  • 551% more troops died PER YEAR in Afghanistan under Bush than Trump.

Wars By Death Toll

Let’s look at the wars by death toll.

  • World War II is the worst war with a death toll of 405,399.
  • WWII has 67% of the deaths of all the wars in the last 250 years COMBINED.
  • WWII has 177% of the deaths of all the wars in the last 100 years COMBINED.
  • The Civil War had 89.9% of military personnel deaths as World War II at 364,511 deaths.
US War Deaths - Wars By Death Toll - US Deaths By War - American Deaths By War

Military Deaths By Branch Of Service

This data is looking at military deaths by the branch of service over the past 100 years.

We added up the total:

  • number of service members for each branch in each war
  • number of deaths for each branch in each war

Then, we divided the number of service members by the number of deaths.

This gave us the average number of deaths by military branch for the last 100 years.

“The past 100 years” is looking at World War I and after (1917 – today).

Military Branch# Of Troops That Served# of Deaths% That DiedDeaths Per 1,000
Army24,648,049852,2603.46%34.6
Navy7,885,93277,6470.98%9.8
Marines1,968,32547,1752.40%24.0
Air Force3,025,0004,1380.14%1.4

US Air Force Death Rate

The death rate of the Air Force is 0.14%.

  • For every 1,000 Air Force troops, 1.4 have died.
  • 3,025,000 troops have served in the Air Force.
  • 4,138 troops have died in the Air Force.

The Air Force was not a military branch until the Korean War in 1950.

Some would say isn’t an accurate representation compared to the other US military branches.

But this data still takes and compares the:

  • total number of service members
  • total number of deaths in the Air Force

It is an accurate representation of the Air Force death rate.

US Army Death Rate

The death rate in the US Army is 3.46%.

  • For every 1,000 US Army troops, 34.6 have died.
  • 24,648,049 troops have served in the US Army.
  • 852,260 troops have died in the US Army.

US Marines Death Rate

The death rate in the US Marine Corps is 2.40%.

  • For every 1,000 US Marine Corps troops, 24 have died.
  • 1,968,325 troops have served in the US Marine Corps.
  • 47,175 troops have died in the US Marine Corps.

What Percentage Of Marines See Combat?

Only 10% of the marines see combat.

This means only 1 out of 10 marines see combat.

US Navy Death Rate

The death rate in the US Navy is 0.98%.

  • For every 1,000 US Navy troops, 9.8 have died.
  • 7,885,932 troops have served in the US Navy.
  • 77,647 troops have died in the US Navy.

Does The Navy See Combat?

Yes, the Navy sees combat, but only ~10% of the Navy soldiers see combat.

Marine Combat Engineer Death Rate

The Marine combat engineer death rate is about 0.77%.

  • 50 Marine Combat Engineers have died since World War II.
  • There are two active duty Marine combat engineer battalions with 1,000 soldiers each.
  • There are two marine engineer support battalions with 1,500 soldiers each.
  • This lands us with about 6,500 troops in the Marine Combat Engineer battalions.
  • There is no data on how many Marine combat engineers served in each war.

The only data we have is a rough estimate of the:

  • current number of Marine combat engineers serving
  • number of Marine combat engineers that have died

Combat Engineer Life Expectancy

The average combat engineer’s life expectancy is 78.8 years.

This takes into account the fact that 99.3% of combat engineers survive service.

Life Expectancy Of A Cavalry Scout

The average calvary scout’s life expectancy is 69.85 years.

This takes into account the fact that 96.54% of combat engineers survive service.

Marines Infantry Death Rate

The death rate in the US Marine Infantry is 2.40%.

  • For every 1,000 US Marine Infantry troops, 24 have died.
  • 1,968,325 troops have served in the US Marine Infantry.
  • 47,175 troops have died in the US Marine Infantry.

Least Dangerous Military Branch

The least dangerous military branch is the Air Force.

The death rate of the Air Force is 0.14%.

This is the lowest death rate of any US military branch.

US Military Deaths By President

Military Deaths Per President - US Military Deaths By President

This data is pulled by looking at the deaths in each war in the US military.

And then corresponding those dates with the president at the time.

There are not any records of US military deaths per year that go earlier than 1980.

But, here are the US military deaths per president. 

PresidentMilitary Deaths Per President
Franklin Roosevelt405,399
Abraham Lincoln364,511
Woodrow Wilson116,516
Harry Truman36,574
Lyndon Johnson34,910
Richard Nixon23,310
James Polk13,283
Barack Obama2,474
William McKinley2,446
James Madison2,260
George W Bush1,037
George Bush383
Donald Trump73

US Military Deaths By Year

US Military Deaths By Year_ - US Military Casualties - US Combat Deaths
YearUS Military Deaths# of Troops Serving
19802,3922,050,758
19812,3802,093,032
19822,3192,112,609
19832,4652,123,909
19841,9992,138,339
19852,2522,150,379
19861,9842,177,845
19871,9832,166,611
19881,8192,121,659
19891,6362,112,128
19901,5072,046,806
19911,7871,943,937
19921,2931,773,996
19931,2131,675,269
19941,0751,581,649
19951,0401,502,343
19969741,456,266
19978171,418,773
19988271,381,034
19997961,367,838
20008321,372,352
20019431,384,812
20021,0511,411,200
20031,3991,423,348
20041,8471,411,287
20051,9291,378,014
20061,8821,371,533
20071,9531,368,226
20081,4401,402,227
20091,5151,421,668
20101,4851,430,985
20111,4501,410,833
20121,3081,333,461
20131,0311,325,826
20148801,304,032
20158691,294,137
20168111,288,232
20179061,301,014
20189181,325,759
20198931,369,816
20201,0171,387,468
20211,0091,323,648

US Military Deaths 2019

There were 893 US military deaths in 2019.

FAQs About US Military Deaths

What Is The Safest Military Branch?

What Is The Safest Military Branch - Safest Military Branch - Safest Branch Of Military

The Air Force is the safest military branch.

  • Troops in the Army branch are 2,528% more likely to die.
  • Troops in the Marine Corps branch are 1,752% more likely to die.
  • Troops in the Navy branch are 720% more likely to die.

This data shows you how much more likely you are to die in the other military branches.

This data is from the wars between 1917 – the present day.

We looked at how many troops have served in each branch in each war.

And we compared that to the number of troops who have died in wars.

Which Military Branch Is The Most Dangerous?

Most Dangerous Military Branch - Which Military Branch Is The Most Dangerous - What Is The Most Dangerous Military Branch

The Army is the most dangerous military branch.

The death rate in the Army is 98% of the other military branches combined.

  • Troops in the Army are 2,528% more likely to die than in the Air Force.
  • Troops in the Army are 351% more likely to die than in the Navy.
  • Troops in the Army are 144% more likely to die than in the Marine Corps.

This data shows you how much more likely you are to die in the Armed Forces.

This data is from the wars between 1917 – the present day.

We looked at how many military personnel have served in each military branch in each war.

And we compared that to the number of active duty military who have died in wars.

How Many Military Died In Afghanistan?

2,465 US military have died in Afghanistan.

How Many People Die In Marine Training?

60 soldiers have died in marine training in the past 5 years.

This means that, on average, 12 marines die in training per year.

Can You Die In The Navy?

Yes, you can die in the Navy.

0.98% of military personnel die in the Navy.

For every 1,000 Navy military personnel, 9.8 troops die.

What Military Branch Sees Combat The Most?

The Army is the military branch that sees combat the most.

Roughly 10% of any military branch sees combat.

The US Army has 1,005,725 soldiers.

About 100,572 of them will see combat.

How Many Green Berets Die A Year?

Roughly 66 Green Berets die per year.

On average:

  • there are 7,000 active Green Berets
  • the death rate of Special Forces is 0.98%

We get this death rate by dividing the number of Special Force by their annual deaths.

On average, there are 660 deaths per year and 70,000 active Special Forces.

Can You Die In The Marines?

Yes, you can die in the Marines.

2.4% of Marines serving die, or 24 out of every 1,000 Marines die.

Can You Die In The Air Force?

Yes, you can die in the Air Force.

0.14% of Air Force serving die, or 1.4 out of every 1,000 Air Force die.

You are least likely to die in the Air Force.

What Are The Most Dangerous Jobs In The Air Force?

The most dangerous jobs in the Air Force are:

  • pararescue
  • combat control
  • tactical air control party
  • special reconnaissance
  • explosive ordnance disposal

What Are The Safest Airforce Jobs?

The safest jobs in the Air Force are:

  • cyber systems operator
  • public affairs officer
  • air traffic control
  • biomedical equipment

Which Military Branch Has The Highest Death Rate?

The Army is the military branch with the highest death rate at 3.46%.

The highest death rate per branch is the Army’s 34.6 deaths per 1,000 soldiers.

How Many People Die In Basic Training?

From 2006 – 2020, 5,605 people died in basic training.

That means that 400 people are dying per year in basic training.

What Are The Chances Of Dying In The Military?

The chances of dying in the military are 2.61%.

This means that for every 1,000 soldiers, 26.1 people die in the military.

That’s across the board, so let’s look at your chances of death in each military branch.

Chances Of Dying In The Military - Military Death Stats - Military Deaths By Branch Of Service
Military BranchChances of Dying# Out of 1,000
Army3.46%34.6
Navy0.98%9.8
Marines2.40%24.0
Air Force0.14%1.4
Overall2.61%26.1

Your US Military Deaths Research

If you are using this information for your own research, feel free to link back to this article as your source.

Thank you in advance.

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