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United States Armed Forces
As of 31 December 2013, 1,369,532 people were on active duty in the armed forces, with an additional 850,880 people in the seven reserve components. It is an all-volunteer military, but conscription through the Selective Service System can be enacted at the President's request and Congress' approval. All males ages 18 through 25 who are living in the United States are required to register with the Selective Service for a potential future draft.
The U.S. military is the world's second largest, after China's People's Liberation Army, and has troops deployed around the globe.
From 1776 until September 2012, a total of 40 million people have served in the United States Armed Forces.
People's Liberation Army (Chinese Armed Forces)
The People's Liberation Army (PLA; simplified Chinese: 中国人民解放军; traditional Chinese: 中國人民解放軍; pinyin: Zhōngguó Rénmín Jiěfàngjūn) is the military of the People's Republic of China (PRC) under the leadership of the CPC. August 1 is celebrated annually as Chinese Workers and Farmers Red Army Day. The PLA consists of four professional service branches: the People's Liberation Army Ground Force, the People's Liberation Army Navy, the People's Liberation Army Air Force and the Second Artillery Corps. The PLA is the world's largest military force, with a strength of approximately 2,285,000 personnel, 0.18% of the country's population. The People's Liberation Army's insignia consists of a roundel with a red star bearing the Chinese characters for Eight One, referring to August 1 (Chinese: 八一).
People's Liberation Army Ground Force
The People's Liberation Army Ground Force (PLAGF) (simplified Chinese: 中国人民解放军陆军; traditional Chinese: 中國人民解放軍陸軍; pinyin: Zhōngguó Rénmín Jiěfàngjūn Lùjūn) is the land-based military service branch of the People's Liberation Army and it is the largest and oldest branch of the entire Chinese armed forces. The PLAGF can trace its lineage from 1927, however it wasn't officially established until 1948. As of 2013, the PLAGF has a strength of 1,600,000 personnel making it the largest standing army in the world. In addition, the People's Liberation Army Ground Force has an estimated 510,000 strong reserve force.
Russian Armed Forces
The number of troops is specified by decree of the President of Russia. On 1 January 2008, a number of 2,019,629 units, including military of 1,134,800 units, was set. In 2010 the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) estimated that the Russian Armed Forces numbered about 1,027,000 active troops and in the region of 2,035,000 reserves (largely ex-conscripts). As opposed to personnel specified by decree, actual personnel in the forces and paid was reported by the Audit Chamber of Russia as 766,000 in October 2013. As of December 2013, the armed forces are at 82 percent of the required manpower.
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