But when America looks at its military, it is not exactly looking in a mirror. The 1.4 million member volunteer US military is not a straight cross-section of the country. It's more southern, more conservative, and more integrated than America itself. It's shy on the poorest Americans, and missing the affluent.
This hour, On Point: who's fighting America's wars, and who's not.
Charles Moskos, Professor of Sociology at Northwestern University and author of "The Post-Modern Military: Armed Forces After the Cold War"
Richard Kohn, Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and author of "Soldiers and Civilians: The Civil-Military Gap and American National Security"
Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst and senior editor at the Atlantic Monthly magazine
This program aired on April 8, 2003.