How Have Deployments During the War on Terrorism Affected Reenlistment?
RAND NATIONAL DEFENSE RESEARCH INST SANTA MONICA CA
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The military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have required the largest and longest use of U.S. military forces since the Vietnam conflict. The buildup of forces for these operations began in 2002, and, by 2007, more than 1.5 million service members had been deployed. Army deployments have been about 1215 months in length, Marine Corps deployments about seven months, Navy deployments typically on board ship about six months, and Air Force deployments three months or longer. Deployments are generally periods of high stress, when daily activities vary from humdrum routine to fast-paced action and traumatizing events, especially for ground forces. Stress is also high among support units at home, as both deployed and nondeployed service members in support activities often work long hours. To varying degrees, deployed service members have been able to stay in contact with family via phone calls and the Internet. In addition, close friendships can develop between battle buddies who rely on each other during missions and for social and psychological support. Departure for deployment means separation from friends and family, and the return from deployment results in an effort to reestablish those relationships. Married service members face the challenge of reintegrating with their families after the spouse has been responsible for running the household, and the children may be anxious and unsure of how to relate to their returning parent.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Unconventional Warfare