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The Civilian-Military Gap Is More Of A Drift Than A Divide


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I really didn't think of the strange perceptions some ex military, and many civilians, have of the military and us veterans as being fixable by us. And we can each do our part. Of course lots of folks who never served can be expected to only know what they read in the paper or see on TV.

 

Summary:

 

"Drift" in the Military-Civilian-Understanding Gap
An article in Task and Purpose takes a look at a recent conference on closing the understanding gap between those who serve and have served and those who never wore the uniform. The conference centered on the results of a Rand Study, further detailed in the article. The T&P article read, in part, "With less than 3 million men and women currently wearing the uniform (one percent of the population) in an all-volunteer force, coupled with a continued decline in military experience in the halls of Congress, America risks the potential circumstances articulated by RAND authors. Some have argued that reinstituting the draft would reconnect America to its military, but doing so only recruits a different one percent. It does not increase the size of the force to the numbers seen during World War II where more than 12 percent of the population wore the uniform. The reality is that with today's technology, a small, elite force will remain the norm for the United States in the foreseeable future.

The article goes on to list six things military members and civilians can do to close the military-civilian understanding gap:

· Share your story
· Bring a friend to military-related events
· Expand Military Mondays
· Find a veteran and listen
· Take a course
· Read and share


To read this very good in-depth article in the excellent online military magazine Task & Purpose, go here: http://taskandpurpose.com/the-civilian-military-gap-is-more-of-a-drift-than-a-divide/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=tp-today

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Since many folks do not click on most links, and others when they see a long article disregard, this one might be worth your time. Here Is an excerpt:

 

"Neither population has intentionally chosen to isolate itself from the other. Instead, a “drift” has occurred.

 

On Oct. 8, Starbucks and the Schultz Family Foundation convened government, nonprofit, and corporate leaders from around the country in their Seattle headquarters for “The Muster,” a one-day event focused on bringing together collective leadership to advance veterans in their careers and communities. While many of the attendees included the usual stakeholders and advocates seen at similar events, this invite list included many new faces that brought new ideas and new opportunities to the conversation.

 

Threaded throughout the day’s commentary, panel remarks and smaller group discussions was the notion of bridging the civilian-military divide. Howard Schultz even started the day claiming, “That is the challenge of the day.”

It’s important to first define the term since many Americans are confused by it. As Marjorie Morrison, chief executive officer and founder of PsychArmor, stated at the event, “Americans with no military affiliation don’t think of themselves as civilians. To them, the word ‘civilian’ refers to Department of Defense employees who work on base but are not uniformed military personnel.” However, the term “civilian-military divide” actually speaks to the understanding gap between those who have served in the military and those who have not.

 

This division raises many concerns best articulated by RAND in a 2007 monograph, The Civil-Military Gap in the United States:

 

Specifically, there is a potential for a civil-military gap to undermine military effectiveness by reducing support for defense budgets, increasing the difficulties of recruiting quality people to join the military, and dwindling public support for using military force, particularly where high casualties are likely. Some observers even worried that a growing civilian-military gap could undermine the principle of civilian control of the military.

 

With less than 3 million men and women currently wearing the uniform (1% of the population) in an all-volunteer force, coupled with a continued decline in military experience in the halls of Congress, America risks the potential circumstances articulated by RAND authors. Some have argued that reinstituting the draft would reconnect America to its military, but doing so only recruits a different 1%. It does not increase the size of the force to the numbers seen during World War II where more than 12% of the population wore the uniform. The reality is that with today’s technology, a small, elite force will remain the norm for the United States in the foreseeable future."

 

That from the link above.

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