Deployments abroad are a key aspect of U.S. military life though they can prove highly disruptive to family life with some spouses reporting their children experienced behavioral and peer-related problems during prolonged periods of absence. A new analysis by the RAND Corporation
has revealed the scope of U.S. military deployments since 9/11. It found that 2.77 million service members have served on 5.4 million deployments with the Army accounting for the bulk of them. Personnel tended to be less than 30 years of age on average with over half married and about half having children.
contributed 3.1 million troop-years of experience with 58 percent of them attributed to the Army. Between September 2001 and 2015, 1.33 million individuals serving with the Army deployed abroad, along with 563,000 from the Navy, 518,000 from the Air Force and 367,000 Marines. Quite a few service members have multiple deployments under their belts with around 225,000 soldiers from the Army deploying at least three times or more.
Some Americans have even deployed more often than that, particularly those in the special operations community
. In October 2015, Delta Force Master Sgt. Joshua L. Wheeler became the first U.S. soldier to die in combat against ISIS and the first American to lose his life in Iraq for four years. After he died during a successful raid on an ISIS prison facility, it emerged that he was a veteran of 14 combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.