Australian School Student Aspirations for Military Careers

TitleAustralian School Student Aspirations for Military Careers
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsGore, Jennifer, Leanne Fray, Claire Wallington, Kathryn Holmes, and Max Smith
JournalArmed Forces & Society
Pagination238 - 259
Date Published04/2017

Modern military organizations are making a concerted effort to recruit a more diverse range of people, with the role of women in the military at the forefront of debate. In Australia, in response to the changing role of the military and with the aim of positioning the military as an “employer of choice” for women, females are targeted as early as high school. Using data from a study of 6,492 Australian school students in Years 3–12, we examine student aspirations for military careers. Student aspirations were influenced by traditional perceptions of the military as a primarily masculine enterprise. Key reasons for student interest included dominant notions of masculinity, familial military experience, career options, and enlistment benefits. We argue that current views of the military among school children signal the need to shift such perceptions to appeal to a wider range of people and attract a more diverse workforce. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]

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