Stars & Stripes, Part 1
America, as you might expect, publishes a large number of military newspapers and magazines. Many of them are produced in Washington; next week we’ll take a look at them.
First, though, let’s look at the local military presence. Everyone knows about the Pentagon, but because uniforms and tanks and bombers are relatively scarce here, civilian residents and visitors don’t always think of the capital as a military town. In terms of the number of military people, though, it ranks third in the country, right after the gigantic navy centers in San Diego and at the mouth of the James:
Rank - Metro area / Military population (thousands)*
1 - San Diego, incl. Camp Pendleton 206
2 - Hampton Roads** 186
3 - Washington 147***
4 - Fort Bragg 112
5 - Honolulu 106
*”includes active duty personnel, families, and members of the military base or installation”
**Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, & Virginia Beach
***Includes Arlington, Fort Belvoir (VA), and Fort Meade (MD)
Nearby Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Richmond? None are in the top 100. Indeed, no American city of comparable size has anywhere near Washington’s military population. It’s true that the concentration in the capital is much lower than it is in, say, Hampton Roads or Honolulu—where one out of every ten residents is a Pentagon employee or a spouse or dependent or base worker. Still, the military leaves a mark on the DC region and its culture in many ways—not least in writing and publishing, as we’ll see next week.
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I'm a freelance writer and editor who lives in Washington, D.C.