What Does it Mean to be Military in History and Society?
What does it mean to be military? This is a question asked by many adolescents and adults who are enlisting. There is no definitive answer to this question, but the use of it has changed throughout history. The military has also changed recently, because it has been slowly getting further and further separated from the rest of society because of the differences in how they each operate. So, to understand each other, it is necessary to analyze the questions: What does it mean to be military in history, what does it mean to be ex-military in civilian society, (and what does it mean to be military in service)?
What Does it Mean to be Military in History?
War has evolved throughout history from an activity steeping in tradition to a scientific enterprise based on different beliefs where success is valued above methods. Warfare involving military has gone from an honorable sport to a, in the words of Sun Tzu, " a matter of vital importance to the state." The use of military has always been to fight for things like land, dominance, order, or the spread of beliefs.
What it Means to be Ex-Military in Civilian Society
In the past few years, military and society have been isolated by a widening gap from each other once the veterans return to civilian society. Marine Daniel Keane like many of hhbuhis comrades felt like he was part of a cult and his response to his difference was:"People don't understand, and I'm not going to waste my breath trying to explain when the only thing that really impresses them is how much beer you can chug down in thirty seconds."
According to a survey done by the Pew Research Center, 44% of the 1,853 veterans they surveyed had trouble adjusting to civilian life. They analyzed that those who experienced a traumatic event, were seriously injured, were married while serving, were a post 9/11 veteran, served in direct combat, and those who knew someone seriously injured or killed had a harder time readjusting. So, the rift between veterans and civilians is caused because of a difference in views. the veterans had a harder time readjusting because their civilian friends don't understand their experiences, and the veterans feel like they are all alone.
Another reason veterans have a harder time readjusting is because it is a complete change in their careers, responsibilities, jobs, homes, communities, lifestyles, health care, training, etc. So, they have no knowledge of this new environment, just as civilians don't have any knowledge of military society.
What Does it Mean to be Military in Service?
To be in service, soldiers are required to know at least one foreign language, have experience in combat, be physically,mentally, and spiritually strong, have combat knowledge, excellent aim, and be able to remain cool under pressure. They are taught to be excellent in everything they do, and to never give up, which separates them from civilians, because they are required to have very different personalities.
So in conclusion, the military has not changed in use throughout history, but the art of war has changed in use. Also, the survey by the Pew Research Center helped to understand why events while in service could separate civilians and veterans, the Washington Post article helped to understand the civilian portion that would cause the change to be tough, and the Atlantic showed how the individual veterans feel isolated from the rest of society, even when they are in it.
Want a visual perspective on this discussion? Try these links.
Link to my annotated bibliography: