|| Marital Status. The majority of accessions are young high school graduates and the military is often their
first full-time job. Thus, very few are married. In FY 1998, 9 percent of male and 12 percent of female recruits were married, compared to 55 and 44 percent of male and female enlisted members,
respectively. Table 2.6 compares marriage rates of accessions in the Services with 18- to 24-year-old civilians in the labor force. Civilians are more likely to be married than accessions (15 versus 9
percent). Within the Services, Army recruits are most likely to be married (14 percent) and Marine Corps recruits are least likely (4 percent). Figure 2.4 shows marital status trends for FYs 1976–1998 by Service.
Figure 2.4. Marital status trends of Active Component NPS accessions, by Service, FYs 1976
–1998.Research shows that marriage is important to a member's long-term career and can
enhance individual readiness.(28)
This is true if the member is in a strong marriage to a supportive but independent spouse. However, combining marriage and a military
career can create challenges for younger Servicemembers as well as the Service. Entering into marriage just prior to or soon after enlisting in the Service can place
extra burdens on the recruit, the family, and the military, particularly when frequent or unexpected deployments separate the "new" family. Thus, marital status trends of
accessions (and members) are an important characteristic to monitor.
|Table 2.6. FY 1998 Active Component NPS Accessions Who Are Married, by
Gender and Service, and Civilians 18–24 Years Old (Percent)
||18- to 24-Year-Old Civilians
|Also see Appendix Table B-2 (Marital Status by Age and Gender).
Source: Civilian data from Bureau of Labor
Statistics Current Population Survey File, October 1997 – September 1998.
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- Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness), Family Status
and Initial Term of Service, Volume I – Summary (Washington, DC: Author, December 1993). (go back)