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What makes leaving the armed forces different?

In many respects, a career in the armed forces is unlike all other jobs. Military work can occupy 24 hours a day and seven days a week, and it frequently involves working, sleeping and socialising with the same people, in a 'self-contained social world'. With its ‘different ways of communicating and relating to others, different living arrangements, [...] and different standards of behaviour, dress, and bodily comportment’, it is often described as more of a 'life' than a job.

Critically engaging stories of military-civilian transition

Excellent piece by Nick Caddick and Sarah Bulmer.

War Stories

In the first post to this new War Stories blog, we reflect on current stories about veterans in ‘transition’ and why these stories matter. Transition is the term which is used – usually uncritically and straightforwardly – to refer to the process by which military service members leave the armed forces and re-enter civilian life. As we set out below, there are numerous social narratives that compete to claim the ‘truth’ about veterans’ transition and these narratives reflect assumptions about military and civilian life (Caddick & Smith, 2017). Our intention is therefore to sketch out, briefly, what is at stake in the various truth claims put forward in these different narratives, as well as to question what the discourse of ‘transition’ itself enables us to see and what it might exclude.

In the UK, there is a dominant narrative – dominant, in the sense that is has the weight…

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