Dealing with Social Conflicts in the Military

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Conflict is an inevitable whenever people - whether close friends, family members, co-workers or romantic partners – disagree about their perceptions, desires, ideas or values. Regardless of the substance of the disagreement, conflict arouses strong feelings. The population's tolerance for reinterpretation of institutional values, beliefs, norms and ethics rose significantly due to significant changes in American social norms in the 20th Century. This tolerance, in conjunction with a transition to the primacy of personal rights over institutional needs has resulted in a society where the good of the many has become subordinated to the good of a few. It has been said that if society as a whole were more like the military in this regard, the U.S. would be a better place. Although diverse, the U.S. military is strengthened by the unified goal of preserving freedom.

All branches of the Armed Forces of the United States are a reflection of America -- virtually every possible ethnic and religious group is represented in each of these organizations. The military is comprised of men and women from all over the United States and other cultures (countries) working together with a single purpose: to protect and defend the Nation and fight for freedom. The Armed Forces is and has been a representative of the nation's population since its creation. Today’s members of each Armed Forces branch are part of a team with a unique character and identity, where each is judged by his or her performance -- never by race, color, religion or gender. This paper will attempt to address the Social conflicts at work on military life which includes issues such as women in combat, homosexuals in the military and gender-integrated basic training. Additionally, this paper will provide information on how these social forces have impacted the military and what steps the Army and other services have taken to resolve them to build a more modular and cohesive force based on transformation and the Global War on Terrorism.

Women in Combat

Conflict - Females enlist in the same armed forces, go through the same vigorous basic and advance training to become the best of the best, perform their duties and possess the same patriotic pride and loyalty that every male serving in the armed forces possesses. So, why is it then, that females are being held back when it comes to defending our country and participating in combat - fighting wars or engaging in civil conflicts?

Overview - The history of women in the military is one that extends over 4000 years into the past, throughout a vast number of cultures and nations. Women have played many roles in the military, from ancient warrior women, to the women currently serving in the Iraq War (History of women in the military). Yet, the questions still arise can a woman truly be a Soldier and not be viewed as deviating from either as it applies to what it means to be a woman and what it means to be a Soldier? The role of women in combat has become a particularly contentious issue in contemporary militaries throughout the world as the current exclusion of women from many combat roles is being seen by some as a form of sexual discrimination. Despite various roles in the armies of past societies, the role of women in the military, particularly in combat, became controversial in the medieval era and it is only recently that women have begun to be given a more prominent role in contemporary armed forces. As increasing numbers of countries begin to expand the role of women in their militaries, the debate continues (History of women in the military). In sheer numbers, women are essential to the American military effort in Iraq and Afghanistan -- where tens of thousands have and are currently serving -- and are playing a bigger role than in any previous U.S. conflicts. Historically, women's involvement in the military has surged in wartime. Today, that pattern is amplified by the all-volunteer U.S. military's growing...
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