The U.S. Army consists of two distinct functional components: soldiers serving in combat roles, on the one hand, and those who serve in support positions, on the other. Do these two functionally distinct segments differ culturally as well? Empirical researchers utilizing qualitative methods have supported a ‘‘Two Armies’’ concept. This article examines the phenomenon quantitatively by using a nationally representative sample of the active duty population. The authors find that there is a statistically significant difference between support and combat soldiers that holds even after taking into account differing demography. Interestingly, this is true mainly of White soldiers, and the authors find that it is driven by premilitary, civilian socialization. This dataset also clearly shows that, for most soldiers, the split between the two segments of the Army tends to diminish over time, with combat and support soldiers sharing more similar motivations with one another later in their terms of service.
- two armies hypothesis,
- institutional/occupational orientation,
- U.S. Army,
- segmented military,
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/jennifer_lundquist/15/