Selection, Occupational Assignment, and the Emergence of the Casualty Gap

Douglas L. Kriner and Francis X. Shen

in The Casualty Gap

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780195390964
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199776788 | DOI:
Selection, Occupational Assignment, and the Emergence of the Casualty Gap

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This chapter explores the capacity of two mechanisms to explain the casualty gaps that emerged in each of the four wars: selection into the armed forces and occupational assignment within the military. Selection mechanisms capture the complex mix of volunteering, active military recruitment, and conscription policies that shape the composition of the military. Occupational assignment mechanisms capture the process through which the military assigns some recruits to positions with high risks of combat exposure, and others to occupations with considerably lower combat risks. Changes in these selection and assignment policies over time help explain both variance in the nature of the casualty gaps observed across wars and even, in the case of Vietnam, temporal changes in the casualty gap within a single conflict.

Keywords: war casualties; selection mechanisms; occupational assignment; military

Chapter.  13239 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: International Relations

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