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Q&A: Army strength, foreign bases, Tyler's descendents

Other armies' soldiers

The U.S. secretary of defense proposes to shrink the active-duty Army to between 440,000 and 450,000 soldiers from the current 522,000. How many active-duty soldiers are in the armies of Russia, China and North Korea?

Russia had 766,055 army personnel in January 2013, according to published reports. There were 1.483 million people in China's People's Liberation Army last April, according to the Hindustan Times, an English-language daily newspaper in India. It's estimated that the size of North Korea's army is 1.2 million, with 7.7 million in reserve, the Associated Press reported last April. Experts say North Korea's armed forces suffer from supply shortages and outdated equipment.

U.S. bases abroad

How many military bases does the U.S. have around the world? What other countries have military bases outside of their borders?

The United States had 598 bases of varying sizes in 40 countries and 97 more bases in U.S. territories as of Sept. 30, 2012, according to the Department of Defense. Among those, there were 179 bases in Germany, 109 in Japan and 83 in South Korea.

France has bases in several countries, mostly former African colonies, but also one in the United Arab Emirates that opened in 2009. The United Kingdom has bases in several countries, including Canada. India, Japan, Russia and Turkey are among the other countries that maintain international bases.

Tyler's grandchildren

I read recently that President John Tyler's grandchildren are still alive. That can't be true, can it?

It is very hard to believe the grandchildren of the country's 10th president, John Tyler, born in 1790, can be living. But it is true. Here's how:

Tyler, the first vice president to assume office due to the death of a president (William Henry Harrison in 1841), fathered 15 children, most of any president. He had eight with his first wife Letitia, the first born in 1815 and the eighth in 1830. She died in 1842.

In 1844 Tyler married Julia Gardiner, who was 30 years younger, and produced seven more children, the first born in 1846 and the last in 1860. Tyler died in 1862 at the age of 71.

Tyler's fifth son in his second marriage, Lyon Gardiner Tyler, was born in 1853. Lyon Tyler was also married twice. He and his first wife had three children. After she died, when Tyler was in his late 60s, he married a woman 35 years younger and they had three children: Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr. in 1924, Harrison Ruffin Tyler in 1928 and Henry Tyler in 1931, though he died the same year.

Lyon Tyler Jr., now lives in Tennessee, and Harrison Tyler lives in the historical family home, Sherwood Forest Plantation, in Charles City, Va.

Compiled from Times and wire reports. To submit a question, email

Q&A: Army strength, foreign bases, Tyler's descendents 03/21/14 [Last modified: Thursday, March 27, 2014 4:47pm]
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