This edited volume provides a comprehensive and critical review of what we know about military service and the life course, what we don’t know, and what we need to do to better understand the role of military service in shaping people's lives. It demonstrates that the military, like colleges and prisons, is a key social institution that engages individuals in early adulthood and shapes processes of cumulative (dis)advantage over the life course. The chapters provide topical synthesizes of the vast but diffuse research literatures on military service and the life course, while the volume as a whole helps to set the agenda for the next generation of data collection and scholarship. Chapter authors pay particular attention to how the military has changed over time; how experiences of military service vary across cohorts and persons with different characteristics; how military service affects the lives of service members’ spouses, children, and families; and the linkages between research and policy.
Preface Janet M. Wilmoth and Andrew S. London. Foreword Glen H. Elder, Jr. 1. Life-Course Perspectives on Military Service: An Introduction Janet M. Wilmoth and Andrew S. London 2. The Military as a Transforming Social Agent: Integration into or Isolation from Normal Adult Roles? Ryan Kelty and David R. Segal 3. Women’s Lives in Wartime: The American Civil War and World War II D’Ann Campbell 4. Racial-Ethnicity and Immigration Status in the U.S. Military Amy C. Lutz 5. Military Service and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Lives Maria T. Brown 6. Military Service as a Pathway to Early Socioeconomic Achievement for Disadvantaged Groups Pamela R. Bennett and Katrina Bell McDonald 7. Labor Market Outcomes Among Veterans and Military Spouses Meredith Kleykamp 8. "The Best Years of Our Lives": Military Service and Family Relationships – A Life-Course Perspective Daniel Burland and Jennifer Hickes Lundquist 9. Military Employment and Spatial Mobility Across the Life Course Amy Kate Bailey 10. A Matter of Life and Death: Military Service and Health Alair MacLean 11. Military Service, Social Policy, and Later-Life Financial and Health Security Debra Street and Jessica Hoffman 12. The United States Military Services’ Sponsorship of Life-Course Research: Past, Present, and Future Paul Gade and Brandis Ruise 13. Methodological Problems in Determining the Consequences of Military Service Douglas A. Wolf, Coady Wing and Leonard M. Lopoo 14. Setting an Agenda for Future Research on Military Service and the Life Course Jay D. Teachman