Warrior Class Essay

4259 Words18 Pages
America’s all-volunteer military has had, among others, a presumably unintended consequence. That is the creation of a distinct Warrior Class within our society. As post-Vietnam America did away with conscription, it still had to man a force capable of waging armed conflict on the nation’s behalf. A specific culture has developed with its own way of doing things and some very specific benefits to its membership. Current economic troubles brings the disparity between military “perks”, which have actually grown in recent years, and the loss of security felt by so much of the civilian sector. Thus the debate turns to the expense of the military, its necessity in its current (expensive) incarnation, and seeming inequity between its members and civilian society. What follows is a discussion of the rise of the Warrior Class from two different theoretical vantage points. First is what Davis and Moore might well have thought of the subject, focusing on how the Warrior Class came about. Next is an application of Swidler’s “toolkit” theory, highlighting the resultant distinct strategies that Warrior Class’ culture provides its member, further driving home the disparity. Finally is a brief summary and conclusion tying it all together. Necessarily Separate but not Equal Davis and Moore assert that, “[a]s a functioning mechanism a society must somehow distribute its members in social positions and induce them to perform the duties of these positions” (p. 242). They further divide such motivation into the desire to fill both the position and to perform the duties inherent in said position. In the case of the modern military, we find an interesting challenge. Just how does society fill the ranks? This problem is further complicated by vacillation in the perceived importance of the institution as well as economic woes. Financial constraints both

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