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LA Times: US Military Becoming Separate Warrior Class

Image: LA Times: US Military Becoming Separate Warrior Class
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By    |   Tuesday, 26 May 2015 11:32 AM

For over 40 years, America has fought its wars with an all-volunteer military, leading top military leaders to fear that a growing separation between the military and civilian life is causing the emergence of a separate military class.

"Less than one-half of one percent 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," the Los Angeles Times reports.

"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," the Times said.

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned in an editorial in The Washington Post in 2013, "The last decade of war has affected the relationship between our society and the military. As a nation, we've learned to separate the warrior from the war. But we still have much to learn about how to connect the warrior to the citizen. We can't allow a sense of separation to grow between us."

Yet, that separation has grown and is growing, especially among the young.

Pew Research Center, in a 2012 report, found that while 78 percent of adults over the age of 50 have a family member serving or who has served in the armed forces, that number plummets to 57 percent for those between the ages of 30-49 and only one-third of those between the ages of 18-29.

Mike Haynie, director of the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University, told the Times, "We've disconnected the consequences of war from the American public. As a result, that young man or woman putting on the uniform is much less likely to be your son or daughter, or even your neighbor or classmate. That is a dangerous place to be."

The Times said that 80 percent of those serving today come from families with a previous history of service. Many of those troops today live on military bases which bar civilian entry, further causing military isolation.

The Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) on college campuses served to familiarize and to connect civilians with the military, yet today, the number of Army ROTC programs has shrunk from 420 under President Reagan to just 275, the Times reported.

Lt. Col. Remi Hajjar, professor of behavioral sciences and leadership at West Point, told the Times, "I am well-aware that many Americans, especially our elite classes, consider the military a bit like a guard dog. They are very thankful for our protection, but they probably wouldn't want to have it as a neighbor. And they certainly are not going to influence or inspire their own kids to join that pack of Rottweilers to protect America."

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For over 40 years, America has fought its wars with an all-volunteer military, leading top military leaders to fear that a growing separation between the military and civilian life is causing the emergence of a separate military class.
military, civilian, class, separation
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2015-32-26
Tuesday, 26 May 2015 11:32 AM
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