U.S. military becoming a separate warrior class, distinct from civilians

soldier hugs flagIt is unhealthy for a country to have its military be very different from the civilian population, especially in political beliefs and values. But that is increasingly the case in the U.S.

Below is a lengthy excerpt from David Zucchino and David S. Cloud’s “Special Report: U.S. Military and Civilians Are Increasingly Divided,” in Los Angeles Times, May 24, 2015:

Multi-generational military families like the Graveses form the heart of the all-volunteer Army, which increasingly is drawing its ranks from the relatively small pool of Americans with historic family, cultural or geographic connections to military service.

While the U.S. waged a war in Vietnam 50 years ago with 2.7 million men conscripted from every segment of society, less than one-half of 1% of the U.S. population is in the armed services today — the lowest rate since World War II. America’s recent wars are authorized by a U.S. Congress whose members have the lowest rate of military service in history, led by three successive commanders in chief who never served on active duty.

Surveys suggest that as many as 80% of those who serve come from a family in which a parent or sibling is also in the military. They often live in relative isolation — behind the gates of military installations such as Ft. Bragg or in the deeply military communities like Fayetteville, N.C., that surround them.

The segregation is so pronounced that it can be traced on a map: Some 49% of the 1.3 million active-duty service members in the U.S. are concentrated in just five states — California, Virginia, Texas, North Carolina and Georgia.

The U.S. military today is gradually becoming a separate warrior class, many analysts say, that is becoming increasingly distinct from the public it is charged with protecting. 

As the size of the military shrinks, the connections between military personnel and the broad civilian population appear to be growing more distant, the Pew Research Center concluded after a broad 2012 study of both service members and civilians.

Most of the country has experienced little, if any, personal impact from the longest era of war in U.S. history. But those in uniform have seen their lives upended by repeated deployments to war zones, felt the pain of seeing family members and comrades killed and maimed, and endured psychological trauma that many will carry forever, often invisible to their civilian neighbors.

Today’s military enjoys a lifestyle that in many ways exceeds that of much of the rest of the country: regular pay raises and lavish reenlistment bonuses, free healthcare, subsidized housing and, after 20 years of service, generous retirement benefits unavailable to many other Americans.

Senior officers live in large houses, travel on their own planes and oversee whole continents with little direction from Washington. Special-operations teams carry out kill missions and drone strikes — some even targeting U.S. citizens — that most civilians never even hear about.

H/t CODA’s M.S.



12 responses to “U.S. military becoming a separate warrior class, distinct from civilians

  1. agent provocateur

    Reblogged this on Nevada State Personnel Watch.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This has to stop.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on Fellowship of the Minds and commented:
    America’s all-volunteer military accounts for less than 0.5% of the total population, and is so different from the civilian population that it has become a separate warrior class. This carries all sorts of implications, none of which is good, and does not bode well for our country. The reason is psychological: A warrior class that’s distinct from the civilian population may develop an “us vs. them” mentality and increasingly perceive the civilians whom they are sworn to protect as “the other” — a perception that, in turn, makes it easier to mistreat and abuse civilians because they are “not like us.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on Centinel2012 and commented:
    I am a form Army Captain and I agree that this is a major problem. Getting rid of the draft was a huge mistake and it has led to the creation of a “professional” army that is there to “practice their art” as I have been told.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: U.S. military becoming a separate warrior class, distinct from civilians | Consortium of Defense Analysts | BLOGGING BAD... Gunny G...

  6. “Today’s military enjoys a lifestyle that in many ways exceeds that of much of the rest of the country: regular pay raises and lavish reenlistment bonuses, free healthcare, subsidized housing and, after 20 years of service, generous retirement benefits unavailable to many other Americans.” What military service does this reference?

    Pay raises? An E-3 of four years takes home 2,000.00 a month, or 1000.00 bi weekly. Or 500.00 a week. Before our 30% federal taxes… I was taking home 600.00 bi weekly as E-3 after 1 year, living in the hottest place on this hemisphere. My civilian job has a 3 percent increase in pay every year, with a bonus, healthcare, and I don’t have to kill people to stay alive.

    Free college? Obama just took that away too. Now everyone gets free college. Healthcare? Oh now everyone has Obamacare. (Ever tried going to the VA?)

    If people want to know what causes a ‘divide’ between the military, it is crack articles like this that on one hand show respect and gratitude, then blame special forces for killing Americans.
    As far as population breakdown comes, this article also failed to mention that the 5 states, Cali, Texas, Georgia, North Caroline, and Virginia, also hold 29.7 percent of the total US population. (31 percent if you exclude territories). Military personnel are counted in the census as living at their duty stations, and Texss, California, North Carolina, and Virginia are all hotspots for military bases. You don’t find many USMC bases in, say, Idaho.

    This article also incorrectly links the shrinking population in the military to the distance of relationships with citizens. WRONG.

    “As the size of the military shrinks, the connections between military personnel and the broad civilian population appear to be growing more distant,-”

    The Military has largely remained unchanged in beliefs, political alignments, customs, and voting records over the past 50 years, while the population of citizens have changed. Opposite of what the article claims.

    Please feel free to refute any claims I make, as I do love respected debate.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I don’t particularly disagree with you, except for your pay numbers. Enlisted pay is obviously no picnic, but I think you may be shading it a bit too much. First, I admit I don’t know the numbers, but I think you may already be overstating the case by citing an E-3 with four years; I’d guess most troops with four years have probably made E-4 by then, but I’m sure there are also E-3’s with four. Base pay of an E-3 is in no way going to be taxed at 30% (more like about 10% if single, and maybe 5% if married, after factoring in the effect of personal deductions and exemptions). And I think you glossed a bit too lightly over the tax-free allowances including BAS and BAH. For example for those who don’t know, BAS will be another $368/month. If you’re a married E-3, BAH will be about another $1000/month to $1500/month, or else free housing if you live on-base.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Since the US military has became all-volunteer in the 70’s, it’s pretty much become a large center for PC feminist social experimentation. Women gradually moving from strictly support roles like medical and secretarial jobs to combat support (pilots, military police, engineers, naval warfare etc) and soon ground combat arms roles like the infantry and special operations – the removal of the ban on openly gay people serving, etc.

    Today’s US military resembles nothing of the US military that fought in WW2, Korea or Vietnam, culturally or morally. Standards have been watered down as the role of women have increased and Americans in general have got fatter and less physically active, and more feminized.
    Case in point, Army Airborne and Air Assault schools – used to be tough and renown, now are complete and utter jokes. If women were held to the same standards as men from recruitment onwards, at least 80% of women would not be serving.

    An all volunteer military is only successful in small’ish militaries that can be very picky about who they recruit, it does not work for any military that needs a large continuous supply of manpower, especially when there’s a war going on. Anyone that worked in military recruitment would know at the height of OIF in the early to mid 00s, standards were all but completely diminished, the Army were taking 42 year old single mothers, the morbidly obese, the Marines famously even recruited a literal retard (who later got kicked out on child porn charges), people who need waiver after waiver after waiver for serious criminal records or health issues. Here is where the draft should have returned, but would not, due to the sheer political consequences it would’ve had. I don’t think many people know how badly at times we were scraping the barrel, and having to beg and bribe.

    I advocate bringing back the randomized draft (Selective Service) for fit and healthy 18-35 year old men, and returning the American military, or at the very least, the Army and Marine Corps, to a male only force.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have read several articles over the past 4 years on rape in the military-and how the is a huge number of rapes on males.also the actual number is beleived to be higher than the reported. How on earth is the military going to attract any male recruits to make or military stong again?


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