Seventy-three years ago, The Times reported that the United States Army demobilized its seven millionth soldier after the end of World War II. When I unearthed this clip several months ago, I thought I was misreading the number. It’s hard to imagine a single service ballooning to more than eight million people (the Army’s peak strength by V-E Day in 1945) and then releasing 6.5 million soldiers in just over a year. The draft certainly made it easier to fill the ranks, but nearly 40 percent of World War II-era service members across all branches volunteered for duty. By comparison, in today’s all-volunteer force approximately 475,000 service members make up the active-duty Army — a fraction of the overall adult population in the United States.