Influence of military identity on social adaptation of Ukrainian veterans


The article examines the influence of different forms of the military identity of veterans on the degree of their social adaptation. We define “military identity” as a result of the social identity of a service(wo)man with the military due to the internalization of values and norms adopted in the military sphere. A “veteran” is a service(wo)man who served in the army, participated in combat operations, and was demobilized in connection with the end of the term of service or for health reasons, regardless of the types of military forces and military service. We have used a sociological method of measuring the stable, situational, and unformed types of veterans’ military identity based on the following criteria: social identification, the strength of connection with the army, biographical importance of military service, perception of the army as a family, recognition of the individual in the army, existential assessment of military service, the importance of military practices after demobilization, social contacts with former service(wo)men, the positive assessment of the military culture of obedience/discipline. We have studied the influence of the following factors – duration of staying in the combat zone, conscription age, motivation to join the army, marital status, and traumatic combat experience – on the formation of military identity. According to the quota sample, the results of the study “Military identity and social adaptation of Ukrainian veterans” are presented; 400 veterans (n = 400) were interviewed according to the quota sample. We found out that veterans with a stable military identity mainly had a low level of social adaptability to the civilian life; veterans with a situational form of military identity mostly had a medium level of social adaptability; veterans with an unformed type of military identity were the most adapted to the civilian life.

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