Virginia does not just employ more than its proportional share of military employees compared to other states, it ranks among the top 5 in the country for enlistments — specifically, the ratio of first-time enlistments to the number of civilian employees. Virginia does not stand alone. It is part of a regional cluster of states extending to North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Alabama, where young men and women contribute disproportionately to the Armed Services.
As Chuck Devore points out in Forbes, military recruits come disproportionately from the middle class. Local culture and tradition play an important role in the decision to join the military, as does familiarity with uniformed service. For whatever reason, the South Atlantic states have an especially strong tradition of military service.
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