Invisible Women: Junior Enlisted Army Wives

Invisible Women: Junior Enlisted Army Wives

Invisible Women: Junior Enlisted Army Wives

Invisible Women: Junior Enlisted Army Wives

Excerpt

In the best of circumstances, military manpower policy is crafted by policymakers with input from military personnel managers, analysts, and military leadership with an in-depth understanding of the life experiences and views of junior enlisted personnel. It is plausible to expect that some policymakers attribute the attitudes and experiences of these young soldiers to particular features, such as youth or lack of advanced education, and thus believe themselves able to empathize with this population group by recalling their own parallel life experiences. However, this approach oversimplifies the life experiences of these families and neglects the reality that most policymakers and professional managers have never experienced the compendium of problems these couples face, such as youth, lack of education, financial difficulties, emotional and physical distance from extended family, and invisibility in a large bureaucracy.

At the center of this book are the personal stories of three junior enlisted spouses, told in their own voices and selected to emphasize the dilemmas numerous enlisted families face. The stories provide insight into the experiences and attitudes of some junior enlisted families. Those who live a military lifestyle—at any pay grade—will find these stories both useful and engaging. Some junior enlisted personnel and their spouses will recognize themselves in these stories, and others in the military community will gain a better understanding of problems they may have seen. Additionally, these insights help provide some human context for official statistics and should be of interest to the military leadership; personnel managers; analysts; and policymakers involved in the recruiting, retention, and management of junior enlisted personnel and their families, as well as to Congress and the media.

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