Military Martyrdom: Understanding the Motivations for Military Enlistment

Stephanie Miller (2010)

The current study explored the motivations for military enlistment among five male veterans. Participants were between the ages of 30 and 45, and all self-identified as Army veterans. Participants were interviewed on the telephone using a semi-structured interview protocol. Interviews were then transcribed and coded for themes using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Five major themes emerged: (a) Finding Direction, (b) Influence of Others, (c) Recognition from Others (d) Loyalty to Others and Ideals, (e) Military Viewed as a Positive and Life-Changing Experience. Although some of the themes mirrored findings from previous research, new themes also emerged. In particular, themes related to military enlistment were observed, such as the opportunity for finding direction and the influence of military culture on personality, values, and beliefs. In addition, the preliminary results from this study were identified and compared to the literature. Implications of the findings and recommendations for future research are discussed.