Pulaski County is the county with the most active-duty military service members in Missouri

The United States has the world’s largest defense budget by a wide margin. The Pentagon spent $159 billion on payroll alone in fiscal 2022, more than the entire military budget of every country in the world except China. These expenditures, while only a small portion of total U.S. military spending, cover compensation for nearly 2.6 million Defense Department employees — including all active-duty military personnel. According to data from the U.S. Department of Defense, more than 1.1 million active-duty troops were serving in all four main branches of the U.S. military in fiscal 2022. These men and women are stationed across hundreds of military bases and installations across the country, and each state is home to anywhere from 100 to over 100,000 active-duty service members. Not surprisingly, Pulaski County is the county with the most active-duty military service members in Missouri. In 2022, there were 9,485 active-duty personnel stationed at Fort Leonard Wood, which was 66.9 percent of the total military personnel in Missouri.