Unfortunately, the data do not point to an obvious explanation for why the military seems to receive the benefit of the doubt from young people. But it wasn't always like this. As they process the question of how the military should be used today, millennials are uniquely without the advantage of having lived through the military engagements of prior decades. So, even where the use of military force does not align with this jig, the tool is still useful for evaluating how the military should be used, and what a justifiable war looks like. As a case study, Crawford looks at our spending habits and asks how we became a society with excessive debts when just a few generations prior we were a society characterized by frugality and thrift. This request typically takes a few seconds. The course was conceived the prior year by two ROTC students, and we assumed leadership after they graduated. We’re building the ship as we’re sailing it. We can trace the development of the traditional, inherited jig through past generations by considering the political atmosphere in which each generation came of age. We present these ideas in order to spark conversation and thought, not as polished proposals for reform, but we believe their implementation would contribute positively to tightening the relationship between civilians and the military at all levels. Moreover, millennials tend to seek jobs in which they can identify with the end goal. Military intervention has been immensely effective at crippling global terrorist networks. So how did this come to be? We're not even sure what "winning" would look like in this conflict. The current and future conflict is neither a cold nor hot war, but a conflict that always simmers. For a generation that, by virtue of the Internet, has access to exponentially more information than its parents or grandparents, what might be the reason for millennials’ ignorance? They are instead reliant on the resources passed down to them from parents and schoolteachers. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this. Some of the ideas we propose below are straightforward and relatively easy to implement, while others might be slightly more controversial and difficult to execute. Comment Magazine is powered by Cardus | 185 Young Street, Hamilton, ON, L8N 1V9 | www.cardus.ca | 1-888-339-8866, You can unsubscribe at any time. There is likely more to this story than simple self-interest, however. The Millennial generation -- including those born between about 1980 and 2000 -- has been criticized for saving less and carrying more debt than previous generations. 1. Our youngest adult generation grew up watching this war drag on and internalized the overarching narrative that military intervention, far from solving the problem of terrorism in that region, has only exacerbated whatever problem there was. Adolescent millennials could eat their Fruit Loops in peace, ignorant of the decades of political and military manoeuvring that had brought it to them. They dramatically overestimate its size, are not familiar with the myriad roles service members may play outside of combat, and frequently respond with uncertainty to other factual questions, suggesting a self-awareness about their lack of familiarity. Millennials generally have more interaction with current service members than other age groups do, as one might expect given that most service members are themselves millennials (CM2T 3, 5, 6, 7). A majority of millennials believes the military’s public portrayal of the progress made in the war in Afghanistan is either “very” or “somewhat” inaccurate, while just one in five millennials thinks it is “mostly” accurate, and only 1 percent believe it is “completely” accurate. Because of this, some do not identify with their generation; this coincides with most millennials having a lack of exposure and … Not only did the number of applications for the course and trip far exceed the resources we had at our disposal, but there were also no other structured courses or programs on Stanford’s campus to which we could point where students so unfamiliar with the military could learn and engage on these issues. They are as accustomed to news stories of al Qaeda, the Taliban, and the war on terror as they are to stories of perhaps all other foreign-policy issues combined. In our college careers, we benefitted immensely from the presence of “warrior-scholars” on campus. As the United States military begins its final drawdown from Afghanistan and reassesses its strategy and legacy in Iraq, millennials will begin to witness the end of a period that for most has comprised the majority of their lifetimes. As of 2015, about 72 percent of active duty personnel were millennials. As of now, the faculties of the US military academies are made up mostly of active duty or retired officers. They require a steady stream of affirmation and feel entitled to things they haven't earned. Appears in Winter 2016. When terrorists attack our country or our allies, millennials are in line … Within days of joining the Air Force, I learned that our favoured slogan is to "Fly, Fight, and Win." Throughout this analysis, we will also offer observations from our own experiences as students at Stanford University teaching student-initiated courses on civil-military relations and leading a group of students to the United States Naval Academy and Washington DC. ), General James Mattis (Ret. Regardless of your take on young millennials in the military, all sides can agree on one point: The issue's about to become moot. Support the Mission of the Hoover Institution, Battlegrounds: International Perspectives, George Shultz Helped Democracy Flourish In Asia. A millennial that was born in the early 1980s is by this point coming to the end of their career and is thinking about retirement. Yet the following generations, specifically baby boomers and the elder half of Generation X, grew up in the relentless tension of the Cold War. Admissions offices at American universities should improve their outreach to veterans, who would bring a unique perspective to any incoming freshman class, and, accordingly, veteran representation should be considered an integral part of a diverse student body. There has been no shortage of discussion of their merits and demerits in the workplaces they've inherited from baby boomers and Gen-Xers. While both these explanations probably have some truth to them, the second offers a much clearer path to improving the civil-military relationship amongst millennials, one that we explored at Stanford. The answer lies not in the "bigger and stronger" mindset of outdated militarism, nor in the non-interventionism of the war-weary. The introduction of a new form of transaction reshaped how people thought about money and, more, the social pressures placed on acting (or not acting) in certain ways. emerging adult life stage. Watching the ROTC campus debate unfold, we were simultaneously inspired by the passion and underwhelmed by the knowledge displayed by the participants. So military service is, for many, a dubious proposition. After ten weeks in the classroom, the course culminated in a one-week trip to the Washington DC area. Please be patient while we complete the request. They’re less religious, less likely to have served in the military, and are on track to become the … Presently, midcareer officers (usually at the O-4 and O-5 level) are given the opportunity to spend a year at a civilian institution for leadership development, introspection, and research (Stanford’s Hoover Institution and Harvard’s Kennedy School, for instance, both have year-long National Security Fellows programs with a participant from each service). Use of the military is emphatically not an impotent effort doomed for quagmire. That millennials advocate the use of the military but avoid serving denotes a deep tension at work in how they process the question of military intervention. We hope that this book and projects like it will inspire our peers—civilian and military alike—to undertake similar efforts toward mutual understanding and appreciation. The terrorist organizations were on their heels, but the countries in which we fought were left in political disarray, and US presence was the only thing staving off anarchy, and thus terrorist resurgence. The opinions expressed on this website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Hoover Institution or Stanford University. Though the application of the jig will differ depending on the context in which it is applied, we can nevertheless use it to understand and evaluate the use of our military in past generations. But many in the Internet age somehow assume that terrorism should have been a problem quickly solved, and thus have deemed our military effort a failure by reason of our continued presence in its epicentre fifteen years on. Convinced that there was a market for studying military issues, we started organizing. Thirty-five percent of active duty millennials surveyed have student loan debt, and about a third have mortgages. Using survey data collected for this volume by YouGov for James Mattis and Kori Schake, we will outline and analyze the statistics that underlie this dynamic. Yes, we've been dropping bombs for fifteen years, but they've been dropped on vetted targets— terrorists actively working toward spreading a toxic ideology and ending innocent lives. with a few civilians in the mix whose subjects may be seen as too “soft” for those in the military profession. 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