Recruiting a Volunteer Force in Wartime

Melissa T. Brown

in Enlisting Masculinity

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199842827
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199933105 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Gender and International Relations

Recruiting a Volunteer Force in Wartime

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Chapter 7 takes up the question of how the gendered constructions of military service developed by each branch are altered by the context of actual war fighting. It examines how the Iraq War and Afghanistan War have affected each branch’s ability to recruit and how each has responded to the conflicts in their recruiting materials. In a departure from earlier wartime recruiting practices, recruiting advertisements continued to offer the same range of inducements used throughout the course of the all-volunteer force and make only limited, mostly indirect references to the conflicts at hand. Combat imagery, disconnected from the conflicts, is used to denote a masculine realm of challenge, excitement, and brotherhood. Within the recruiting ads, women’s roles are carefully contained. Even as the wars have expanded their military roles and placed some women in combat, the depictions of women continue to segregate them from any markers of war.

Keywords: Iraq War; Afghanistan War; wartime recruiting; recruiting advertisements; women in combat

Chapter.  9843 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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