How many Fortune 500 company CEOs are military veterans? How does this compare to the general population?

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pnrjulius eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The best figure I can find on Fortune 500 CEOs who served in the military is that there are 23 current CEOs who are military veterans:

Alex Gorsky, Daniel Akerson, Sumner Redstone, Robert J. Myers, Lowell C. McAdam, James Mulva, Robert A. McDonald, Frederick W. Smith, Alan B. Miller, Robert J. Stevens, John A. Luke, Jr., James A. Skinner, Josue Robles, Jr., Martin J. Whitman, Robert S. Morrison, George Schafer, Richard Kinder, Tom Dent, Herb Vest, Kevin W. Sharer, William V. Hickey, Clayton M. Jones, and Ken Hicks.

A lot of people make a big deal about this (You'll see articles like, "Do veterans make better CEOs?"), but, at 4.6%, this percentage is actually comparable to, if not smaller than, the general population. Less than 1% of Americans are actively serving frontline or reserve military personnel, but the total number of US military veterans is about 19 million, roughly 5.8% of the total population. Given the small sample size, there is statistically insufficient evidence to show that being a military veteran either increases or decreases one's chances of being a Fortune 500 CEO.