How the US Military Fights Poverty Worldwide

This article is part of Blog Action Day, a day in which bloggers around the world unite to bring attention to a single issue. This year, the issue is poverty.

The US military is known for its ability to strike anywhere at anytime – and the results are almost always effective. While you may think this only applies to death and destruction, this also applies to supporting people around the world – enemies and allies alike. The US military is one of the few organizations in the world with the people, skills, and equipment to respond to any disaster in the world within 12-24 hours – if not less.

How the US Military fights poverty worldwide

Security and structure during emergencies. Many emergency situations are chaotic and lack structure. As one of the first responders to many emergency situations around the world, the US military has a chance to establish order to the relief efforts and provide security to prevent looting, theft, and worse.

Disaster relief. One of the aircraft I worked on during my service time in the USAF was the C-130, a intra-theater cargo aircraft noted for its ability to get in and out of just about any kind of airfiled. When I was serving in the Middle East in support of the War on Terror, we shipped more than just troops and war materials. We flew many humanitarian missions in and out of the Middle East and Africa, commonly shipping food, medical supplies, doctors and technicians, and troops and materials to provide shelter and clean water to areas stricken by war and natural disasters.

Infrastructure. The US military supports infrastructure in many countries that have been ravaged by war, drought, natural disasters and poverty. The Army Corps of Engineers, Seabees, Air Force Civil Engineering, and Marine Corps civile engineering corps build roads, schools, provide fresh water, rebuild damaged structures, and provide shelter for people around the world.

CFC donations. The US military supports charitable organizations through the Combined Federal Campaign. Each year, military members give millions of dollars to charities supported through the CFC.

Donating time and service. Many military members volunteer in their local communities – whether they are stationed in the US or abroad. This selflessness provides a positive impact on many people worldwide.

The US military is not all about destruction

The US military provides a great deal of support around the world, but this isn’t something you hear about often in the mainstream media, where “if it doesn’t bleed, it doesn’t lead.” I can tell you from first hand experience – the US military is a great organization that provides valuable services around the world, and based on my experience, I would say the US military saves and improves many more lives than it destroys.

Here are what some others have to say about poverty:

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Date published: October 15, 2008. Last updated: August 19, 2010.

Article by

Ryan Guina is the founder and editor of this site. He is a writer, small business owner, and entrepreneur. He served over 6 years on active duty in the USAF and is currently serving in the IL Air National Guard. He also writes about money management, small business, and career topics at Cash Money Life. You can also see his profile on Google.


  1. says

    Most armed forces worldwide engage much more in humanitarian and peacekeeping work than they do in wholesale desctruction. Perhaps not something that your average gung-ho 17-19 year old recruit thinks about, but something the rest of the world is pretty grateful for.

  2. says

    Very true, Plonkee. Some of my favorite memories were when we were mobilized quickly to respond for an emergency. Everyone banded together with great teamwork to accomplish the mission. It’s amazing how much can be accomplished when someone gives the word “go.”

  3. threadbndr (karla) says

    A lot of the requests at ( etc – check it out) are for things that our troops need for outreach efforts to the local people in theater.

    In every one of my care packages when my son was deployed were candies, school supplies, pens, soccer balls, etc for him to give away.

    US Marines – no worse enemy. And no better friend.

  4. says

    Karla: Amen! When I served in the USAF we also gave a lot to local communities. There is a lot of good we do; unfortunately, most of it goes unreported because it doesn’t incite controversy.

  5. says

    Hear, hear. When I was deployed in Kosovo we would lead out on lot of medical humanitarian trips to these little mountain villages with no doctors. Heck, these people don’t “need” any medical insurance – they don’t even have providers! I will never forget the feeling of trying to make a positive difference in a place like that. Thanks for the cogent reminder.

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