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Life in the U.S. Armed Forces: (Not) Just Another Job

Anni Baker offers a timely exploration of life in the armed forces, as it has been experienced by millions of men, women, and children over the past six decades. She examines the factors that shape military service and culture, from grueling training exercises to sexual relations with local women, from overseas duty to the peculiar life of the "military brat." The military, she posits, is a distinct society based on a set of common values that are sometimes, though not always, at odds with those of civilian society. The extent to which active duty personnel, family members, and civilians internalize these values dictates their comfort with military life and their choice of a military career. Through a discussion of life in the military, the author shows how the values, traditions and norms of the armed forces are articulated and shared, how they influence the individual and the institution, and what role they play in American society as a whole.

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