Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Trivia Tuesday!

While trivia as a regular blog feature isn't nearly as interesting as Diogenes' Fishnet Friday, or our esteemed host's periodic postings, it gives me something to keep me from less interesting efforts such as yard work, which I've barely touched since I last wrote about it.  Another weekly write-up is Steeljaw's scribble and a way to help you get through your Monday mornings.  I also saw one called Phone it in Friday, but I try hard to keep my posts from showing such weak creativity.  Yeah, I know, I don't try that hard.

Those posts are all great endeavors, but it's my self-imposed (and Sarge-imposed?) duty to bring you Tuna's non-titillating Tuesday Trivia.  I'm writing this as I snack on some pita chips dipped in homemade pesto sauce.  Not exactly a healthy choice, but I'm balancing my decision against the fact that I hit the gym on a regular basis.  The lack of that balance in today's youth is probably the reason for our first factoid question of the day.

1.  What percentage of Americans between the ages of 17-23 are qualified for military service?  While the services are shrinking and there's less need for the numbers we saw during the Cold War and the War on Terror in the Middle East, the sedentary nature of today's youth has made far too many of them too...shall we say soft?...for service. 

a. less than 28%
b. less than 18%
c. less than 35%
d. less than 43%
NBC News via AP
2. 33 Presidents served in the military.  How many of them were enlisted and did not go on to serve as an Officer?

a. 1
b. 7
c. 8
d. 13

3. There are on any given day, approximately 1.4 million men and women (and one transgendered) serving in our Armed Forces.  What's the approximate number of civilians in the DoD?  It may or may not be a hint, but DoN civilians make up 38% of the combined Naval Force.  By the way, DoD is the largest employer in the United States, with more employees than Exxon, Mobil, Ford, General Motors, and GE combined!

a. 475,000
b. 1.2 million
c. 964,000
d. 718,000

DoD Photo

4.  I'm not sure if this counts the bases in Afghanistan that we're abandoning faster than rats on a sinking ship, but how many military bases do we have overseas?

a. 327
b. 660
d. 185
e. 907

5. True or False.  The US Coast Guard is approximately the same size as the NYPD.

6. While the U.S. President is Commander-in-Chief of the United States Armed Forces, only two presidents have actually commanded troops in times of war. Who were they?

a. Abraham Lincoln
b. Theodore Roosevelt
c. George Washington
d. James Madison

7. Which branch of the U.S. armed services has no official motto, but is often associated with the phrase "Non sibi sed patriae" (Not self, but country)?

8.  What active sea-going vessel under the employ of the United States was once manned by the Nazis?

I have a co-worker who is an Eagle Scout and a graduate of the Severn River Community College (as he calls it), but is better known by its official title- The US Naval Academy.  He says that Scouts is the perfect training ground for the Navy in that Scout sign-offs to earn advancements and Merit Badges is exactly like the Navy's PQS.  That's the Personnel Qualification Standard system where a Sailor qualifies for a job or watch position by obtaining signatures for proving their knowledge or conducting certain tasks. The Service Academies tend to value the qualities of Eagle Scouts and I've known many graduates and other Officers who obtained that rank.

9.  Now with that long intro behind us, how many 2014 Academy Grads are Eagle Scouts?  

Scouting Magazine
a. 623
b. 413
c. 1003
d. 256

US Navy Photo

10.  The Blue Angels came about in 1946 flying the F6F Hellcat and F8F Bearcat in that first year.  When did the USAF blatantly rip them off copy them with their Thunderbirds and which aircraft did they first fly?

a. 1949 with the F-86 Sabre

b. 1949 with the  P-51 Mustang

c. 1951 with the F-80 Shooting Star

d. 1953 with the F-84G Thunderjet

That'll do it for now.  I really must get to that yardwork and I plan to get at least 30 minutes on my rodent wheel elliptical before the day is over.


1. It's a pathetic number whatever the answer, but it's a. 28%, meaning almost three-fourths of the Nation couldn't serve if they wanted to.

2.  This surprised me, but only James Buchanan was the non-Mustang/LDO/MCEP/Warrant/Seaman to Admiral/V-12/Direct Commission Officer...etc., serving solely in the Enlisted ranks.  Two of those 33 served in the Confederate Army by the way.

3. d. 718,000 which I think is far too many, but I'm part of that problem.  Check out this quote from a GAO report- one that would make a libertarian's head explode.

From 2004 to 2012, the federal non-postal civilian workforce grew by 258,882 employees, from 1.88 million to 2.13 million (14 percent). Permanent career employees accounted for most of the growth, increasing by 256,718 employees, from 1.7 million in 2004 to 1.96 million in 2012 (15 percent). Three agencies—the Departments of Defense (DOD), Homeland Security (DHS), and Veterans Affairs (VA)—accounted for about 94 percent of this increase. At DOD, officials said that converting certain positions from military to civilian, as well as the growth of the agency’s acquisition and cybersecurity workforce, contributed to this overall increase. At VA, officials said the increased demand for medical and healthrelated services for military veterans drove most of the growth in personnel levels. DHS officials said the increase in employment was due in large part to the nation’s border security requirements. (In contrast, ten agencies had fewer career permanent employees in 2012 than they did in 2004).

4.  b. 660 is the closest answer.  "Base Structure Report, Fiscal 2010 Baseline." According to this report, the U.S. has 662 overseas bases in 38 foreign countries

5. False, the NYPD has 34,000 Policemen to 42,000 Active Duty Coasties, but if you add the civilians in each organization, they're both at about 51K.

6.  c and d.  Madison was angered by his Commanding General's imcompetence so he assumed command of U.S. forces in Maryland during the War of 1812 in an effort to save the nation's capital, but the Brits were still able to burn Washington.  And GW personally led troops to quell the Whiskey Rebellion during his 2nd term

7.  That would be the US Navy.

8.  The Wonderful World of Wiki tells us that the German Training ship- Horst Wessel, built in 1936 and put into service during WWII after being given anti-aircraft weapons, was taken by the US as war reparations and recommissioned as this ship:

9. B is the correct answer- 413.  With a breakdown of 139 from West Point, 99 from Annapolis, 25 from the Merchant Marine Academy, and 150 Air Force.  The Coasties didn't track that for 2014 though, so the number is probably higher.

10. d. While the F-80 (T-33) was flown by that first team, it was only for VIP/Press engament purposes.


  1. Another classic, Tuna. You threw me on the Presidents leading troops. I forgot to RTFQ. Did you have a gig writing advancement exam questions? And I thought our mot-to was "fat girls rock!"

  2. The Spanish American War doesn't count? Or did you mean to say only two Presidents have actually commanded troops in time of war while in office? Pick. Pick.

  3. I hate trick questions.
    If you mean "sitting" Presidents you should say sitting Presidents.
    ...and I'd be willing to bet Teddy would've done it if he had the opportunity.

  4. Question Six is under review.

    Skip has a point. Furthermore, I'm having trouble seeing how The Whiskey Rebellion counts as "war."

  5. You guys kill me. You're like that kid in my high school who got A's on all his tests, but still complained about individual questions he got wrong because he wanted a "higher" A. Don't worry, these quizzes are pass/fail and nobody keeps score anyway. Everybody wins, everybody gets a trophy. You sound like Clinton defining the word "is."

    1. By the way, if I meant any man who led troops that later became President, it would have been more than 2 (Ike, US Grant, GW, TR, etc.)

    2. So I should scrap my idea for a "Dean's List"?

    3. Don't forget the current cinc. Combat hardened sof veteran.

    4. Thanks PA- I just snorted soda out my nose!

    5. YW. My contribution to your fitness program. Gotta PM those sinuses...


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Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

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