On Wednesday, South Carolina celebrated its 230th birthday. With a military history dating back to 1777, the state's entire existence has included a strong relationship with our nation's armed services. Today, the impact of South Carolina's robust military footprint is difficult to overstate. With eight major installations and several other facilities throughout South Carolina, the military employs more than 62,000 personnel across the state and is responsible for approximately $2.6 billion in payroll. In fact, an economic impact study recently commissioned by the S.C. Military Base Task Force found that the military has a $24.1 billion economic impact on South Carolina, annually.
More than just a major driver of the state's economy, the men and women of our military also play an integral role in making South Carolina the special place it is. So, as we prepare for the upcoming Memorial Day holiday, I encourage you to take the time and reflect, not only on the positive economic impact the military has on our state, but also on the crucial role our dedicated servicemen and women play in our communities. After all, their contributions are critical to ensuring that South Carolina remains 'Just right' for years to come.