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Numbers The proportion of officers varies greatly. Officers typically make up between an eighth and a fifth of modern armed forces personnel. In 2013, officers were the senior 17% of the British armed forces,<ref>https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/284564/uk-af-personnel-report-1-april-2013-revised.pdf</ref> and the senior 13.7% of the French armed forces.<ref>http://www.latribune.fr/entreprises-finance/industrie/aeronautique-defense/20121231trib000739964/defense-jean-yves-le-drian-supprime-580-postes-d-officiers-de-l-armee-francaise-en-2013.html</ref> In 2012, officers made up about 18% of the German armed forces,<ref>http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/europe/de-personnel.htm</ref> and about 17.2% of the United States armed forces.<ref>http://www.militaryonesource.mil/12038/MOS/Reports/2012_Demographics_Report.pdf</ref>

Historically, however, armed forces have generally had much lower proportions of officers. During the First World War, fewer than 5% of British soldiers were officers (partly because World War One junior officers suffered very high casualty rates, which were even higher in the British Army because officers' different headgear made them obvious targets) . In the early twentieth century, the Spanish army had the highest proportion of officers of any European army, at 12.5%, which was considered unreasonably high by both foreign observers and many Spanish politicians.

Within a nation's armed forces, armies (which are larger) tend to have a lower proportion of officers, but a higher total number of officers, while navies and air forces have higher proportions of officers. For example, 13.9% of British army personnel and 22.2% of the RAF personnel were officers in 2013, but the army had a larger total number of officers.<ref>https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/284564/uk-af-personnel-report-1-april-2013-revised.pdf</ref>


Officer (armed forces) sections
Intro  Numbers  Legal relevance  Terminological details in the US  Commissioned officers  Non-commissioned officers  Warrant officers  Officer ranks and accommodation  See also  References  External links  

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