This is the conundrum that our politicians face on our behalf. 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. Relative to all other age groups, millennials are the least likely to self-identify as “very familiar” and most likely to identify as “not very familiar” (CM1T 39). These blithely stated virtues and vices, despite how much we like to talk about them, are not enough to explain millennial ambivalence toward military service. As of now, the faculties of the US military academies are made up mostly of active duty or retired officers. Likewise, millennials estimated the overall strength of the military to be nearly 11 million, or roughly one in 30 Americans of all ages, when in reality the number is closer to 2.3 million, or roughly one in 140 (CM1T 58). Use of the military is emphatically not an impotent effort doomed for quagmire. During the Vietnam era, when scores of young people were coerced (or faced the risk of coercion) via the draft into joining the military against their will, their opinions of the institution may have been poisoned from the very beginning. The trip, unlike a more sterile classroom setting, was an opportunity for interesting conversations and exchanges of views, sometimes uncomfortable but very human. The existence of extremist terrorism depends on little else than the ideology that spawns it and the Internet that propagates it, and neither of those things will go away soon. community of supporters in This may not be a problem that we can solve with the military, but it certainly isn't a problem we can solve without it. Millennials do not exhibit the same open antagonism towards service members that many of their parents or grandparents might have during the Vietnam era, yet neither do many of them understand the difference between a sailor, a soldier, an airman, and a Marine. Americans were delirious in their victory, to the point of taking seriously the postulation that the End of History had arrived, and all that was left for humanity to do was iron out the kinks in the final democratic cosmopolis. As Stanford students at the time of the most recent ROTC controversy, we noticed a phenomenon that distinguished this debate from what we knew of the Vietnam-era environment: while a few students passionately opposed inviting ROTC back, most students did not share their zeal, and most of the discussion among the faculty and administration focused not on whether to invite the services back, but on how to make it work. Even mid-to-senior-level officers (O-4 to O-7) have the opportunity to do Pentagon rotations and engage with civilian defense officials. Millennials also frequently respond with “not sure” to survey questions that involve factual knowledge of the military, suggesting a combination of ignorance and humility regarding these issues (CM1T 51, 40). On almost every other measure of personal connection to the military, however, millennials lag behind the rest of society. An additional 65 percent say the U.S. is one of the greatest countries. This request typically takes a few seconds. The current and future conflict is neither a cold nor hot war, but a conflict that always simmers. Career for them is less a pragmatic opportunity to succeed and more an idealistic opportunity to be a force for progress. One need only look at the McCarthyist paranoia of the 50s or the Vietnam protests of the 60s to see that a rejigging was already underway which (we can see now) would come to fruition after 9/11. The demolition of cultural scaffolding made room for invisible cages. While the post-9/11 GI bill provides education benefits to veterans, it only covers the cost up to that of the state’s most expensive public university, and only does so for four academic years (thirty-six months). Millennials are the demographic least interested in news and public affairs, and, though television is the primary source of news for a plurality of millennials, nearly a quarter get their news from pop-culture sites such as BuzzFeed or social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter rather than from major news organizations directly (CM1T 66, 34). But it wasn't always like this. When millennials are asked directly about their familiarity with the military, 45 percent say “somewhat familiar” while another 32 percent are “not very familiar.” Only 15 percent claim to be “very familiar” with the US military. We need fresh minds to approach the world as it is today and discover how a smarter and savvier military can make it better. In this top-down manner, millennials received working, shorthand answers to questions such as, What is the purpose of the military? Morris Fiorina is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Wendt Family Professor of Political Science at Stanford University. 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). We are at odds with the paradox that adherents to this ideology can bomb us, but we can't seem to bomb them back. Conversely, the students at military institutions could benefit from civilian instructors. Secondly, we noticed that the human connection between our students and our military hosts was the most significant aspect of the trip. Regardless of your take on young millennials in the military, all sides can agree on one point: The issue's about to become moot. Today, thanks to such rejigging, personal debt loads are a reality unthinkable to our forebears. The issue of civil-military relations, particularly millennial-military relations, is one that merits further investigation and consideration, both in a scholarly sense and in the context of a broader societal discussion. Many of these guys enlisted because of 9/11 and fought during the early years of the Afghan/Iraq wars. Service to School, a nonprofit founded by Augusto Giacoman, Tim Hsia, Khalil Tawil, and Anna Ivey, provides free application counseling to veterans and has so far assisted over one hundred applicants in gaining admission to elite universities such as Harvard, Stanford, Northwestern, Columbia, and Notre Dame. 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. Yet the slogan hails from victories of older wars. We watched year after year as the United States continued to send billions of dollars and thousands of volunteer lives across the globe to fight this nebulous force. There, with the help of a group of student leaders equally committed to increasing civil-military dialogue, we paired our students up with midshipmen to be fully immersed in the Annapolis experience, from morning physical training to classes to extracurricular activities. 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. While DADT’s repeal made possible Stanford’s formal reinvitation of ROTC by eliminating a major source of discrimination in the military, it cannot explain the broader feeling around campus, particularly among the faculty and administration, that engagement with the military would be good for both the military and the university. At first glance, the idea may seem absurd. There are lessons to learn from clumsy interventions of the past, but that lesson should not be apathy. Though they disagree with a number of specific policies, the military leadership is viewed far more favorably by millennials than political leaders are. As of now, newly commissioned officers are placed within their respective service branch’s hierarchy, usually in a junior management position in which they interact only with their enlisted subordinates and commissioned supervisors. They grew up alongside the Internet and have made this technology second nature, using it to create solutions for everything from engineering to investing to dating. Guys like me, born in the late 80s to e So military service is, for many, a dubious proposition. Our work on this issue has done much to shape our sense of what it means to be a young person in the United States and our understanding of what opportunities and responsibilities our citizenship entails. We are proud to join a military branch with a heritage of victory in the air that allowed victory on the ground. Furthermore, it was reported that in 2014 "almost 50 percent of Millennials responded that the United States should 'stay out' of world affairs, the highest rate since the Chicago Council on Global Affairs began asking the question in 1974.". In a similar way, we can ask such questions about war: How did our cultural perception of military service change so drastically in just over half a century? 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. At civilian institutions of higher education, most courses on military strategy are in the context of ancient warfare, and discussion centers on strategic theory and accounts of battles long past. The military is meeting its numbers—they always want a better quality recruit or cadet—but they consistently get the numbers they need. Millennials are not militaristic, and do not, as a single group, “put the military on a pedestal.” Though 60 percent believe veterans are harder working and more reliable than the rest of society, millennials do not believe that they should be privileged over more qualified applicants in private-sector hiring (CM1T 48). If military leaders are honest with themselves, current and previous generations have always looked at the organization from bottom to top. Lectures and PowerPoint, however well designed and presented, can only be so inspiring. 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. The vote followed a yearlong process of study and heated debate that engaged a wide array of student groups, faculty, and the university administration in conversations over issues such as the military’s inclusiveness and the academic rigor of ROTC programs. Millennium Space Systems says an experiment launched to space on Nov. 19 will show that a small satellite with a deployable tether can safely deorbit in about 45 days. And yet there is an inherent contradiction in the lives of millennials: despite growing up in an age of continuous war, this generation is broadly unfamiliar with the military, its culture, its basic structure, and its function. As of 2015, about 72 percent of active duty personnel were millennials. We welcome any and all feedback — please contact managing editor Dan Postma at dpostma@cardus.ca. Get this from a library! Adolescent millennials could eat their Fruit Loops in peace, ignorant of the decades of political and military manoeuvring that had brought it to them. The intervention that they've witnessed has led to a longer war than any fought by their parents or grandparents. Allowing a select number of senior noncommissioned officers to participate in such a program would give college students a perspective on the largest and arguably most critical component of the military: the enlisted ranks. Ultimately, exchange programs of any length are an essential tool for exposing future military officers to the independent, innovative thinking taught at the best civilian schools and for exposing civilian students to some of their most disciplined, driven, and service-oriented peers in the country. While spending one or two years working outside the military carries the risk that these junior officers would miss important milestones in their early careers, the experience they would gain would pay great dividends down the road, especially if they were required to work in a joint or interagency environment. Yet the following generations, specifically baby boomers and the elder half of Generation X, grew up in the relentless tension of the Cold War. When terrorists attack our country or our allies, millennials are in line … It is a challenge uniquely suited to the virtues of the millennial generation. The second portion of the trip involved meetings with senior Pentagon officials, a visit to Andrews Air Force Base, Marine Corps Base Quantico, the House Armed Services Committee, and the White House Office of Public Engagement. Become engaged in a community that shares an interest in the mission of the Hoover Institution to advance policy ideas that promote economic opportunity and prosperity, while securing and safeguarding peace for America and all mankind. Millennials are also the only demographic of which a majority does not support raising taxes to provide veterans with “the best health and retirement benefits” (CM1T 47). 4. Naval Academy (USNA) in Annapolis, Maryland. This age group has, after all, come to be known as the 9/11 generation, and rightly so: young Americans between 18 and 29 have made the transition into adulthood during the single longest period of continuous war in American history. He graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 2012 and received his M.A. Moreover, millennials tend to seek jobs in which they can identify with the end goal. In the YouGov survey, 73 percent of millennials agree with the statement that “many veterans” have difficulty adjusting to civilian life because of stresses they experienced in the military (CM1T 47). They understand that the military is a very hierarchical organization but may not be able to explain the difference between a second lieutenant and a lieutenant colonel. and, How does it achieve that end? ), and Colonel Joseph Felter (Ret. Rather than just trying to generate millennials’ interest in the military, as seemingly every advertising agency, NGO, and political party is trying to do for their own purposes, we believe that providing opportunities to meet the demand of those already curious about the military but lacking a way to engage with it is the most promising path towards closing the millennial-military divide. Millennials’ views also clash with military policies on “social” issues, with 75 percent of young people supportive of allowing homosexuals to serve in the military and a majority disagreeing either “somewhat” or “strongly” with excluding women from the infantry. The early memories that shaped the millennial generation were, by comparison, otherworldly. They are the most technologically connected, but least socially communal group of people. Just as they can learn a great deal from a lieutenant colonel, students could learn a great deal from a sergeant major with twenty years of experience literally making the planes run on time. 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. 1. To deny otherwise is to deny both recent polling and common observation. The political turbulence of the past two decades has had an immense influence on this generation. Twelve percent of millennials report that a military isolated from society is a good thing, more than any other age group (CM2T 24). They proved on 9/11 that they posed a legitimate threat to the lives of American citizens, and we, in accordance with the jig that had applied for generations, mobilized our military. It has more views and heated responses than any other. Now, what does this have to do with millennials? No generation asks for or deserves the problems left to it by its parents, but every generation is marked by its willingness and ability to overcome them. All of this is to say that despite disagreements and occasional mistrust over specific issues, young people have faith in the institution of the military. Furthermore, there are several for-profit universities that can only be described as predatory in their targeting of veterans. Democracy itself was at stake, but we were delivered by the sacrifice of our GI heroes. This is not surprising, given their almost universal consensus that the war in Iraq was "a mistake and not worth fighting." Is all social conservation just defensive reaction? According to the 2014 Military Demographics Review, 4 out of 5 active-duty service members were 35 years old or younger and more than half the active-duty officer corps fell in the millennial bracket. There is no end to it. Google taught us to love fast answers. Flag officers, on the other hand, interact much more frequently with their civilian counterparts. Faculty luminaries such as former secretary of defense William Perry, former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, and historian David Kennedy led the push to reconsider and reinvite ROTC to campus, while student groups such as Stanford Students for Queer Liberation (SSQL) and Stanford Says No to War (SSNW) led the opposition to reintegration. Fifty-two percent of survey respondents are concerned that they have too much debt. In that case, shorter exchanges, such as the week-long program we developed, can still be immensely valuable. The rise of Nazi Germany and the attack on Pearl Harbor led to a straightforward application of military power. 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. 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. Without conspicuous motion toward progress, there is little with which the idealistic millennial can identify when considering a military career. The question is not whether we should resort to armed force to protect ourselves; it is whether it can effectively do so in this twenty-first-century conflict. Sept. 11 is critical not only to understanding policy, but also to understanding an entire generation: the millennials, or those born in 1982 through 2004. Members of the generation entering into adulthood during or after World War II, dubbed the "Silent Generation" for their reputation as withdrawn but hardworking people, would be understandably enthusiastic about the value of military force as a necessary political tool. Learn how our local agent expertise, combined with the regional New Millennium support and the global reach of the CENTURY 21® brand, all work together to get your home sold for the for the best price possible in the shortest amount of time. In the end, how the military votes may have more to do with the more progressive social views of the Millennial generation now serving, and with their exhaustion over the … If we were to say to millennials that they should serve in the military, many would respond with the signature question of their generation: "Why? 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. In 2006, there were only modest generational differences on whether good diplomacy or military strength is the best way to ensure peace. Yet there is danger that the modern counter- jig of military impotence is exactly the wrong lesson to learn. By this view, intervention is like trying to fix our ant-infested home by patrolling the kitchen with a hammer. 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. The second explanation is that millennials, even those who are curious about the military, do not have enough opportunities to learn about it. (She has also described how much the experience has influenced her own views and beliefs.) When we followed up with our counterparts at Annapolis, we were told that there was similarly strong feedback from the USNA midshipmen who were paired up with our students. Those are perhaps three of the most common words associated with the millennial generation. emerging adult life stage. Your gift helps advance ideas that promote a free society. 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. This investment will doubtless require all the innovation and creativity we can muster. 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. In a period characterized by shockingly low levels of trust in our fundamental institutions, the military has consistently been the most trusted. © 2020 by the Board of Trustees of Leland Stanford Junior University. How many Millennial vets? 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. In November of 2015, shortly after the Paris attacks, a poll from the Harvard Institute of Politics revealed that 60 percent of millennials were in favour of the use of military force in Iraq and Syria to combat ISIL, yet only 15 percent were willing to serve in the military. The old jig that helped us determine how to use our military no longer seems to apply, and we are left reeling. Explored specifically are the Millennials’ views of serving for and in the military, their own willingness to serve, and the factors associated with supporting military service and/or national service across gender lines. Entitled. Designed to cover the basics—what someone new to the topic might want to learn about how the military works—the class consisted of lectures from officers, professors, and former policymakers with wide-ranging experience. The word “millennial” conjures up images of skinny, jean-wearing, Tinder-swiping dandies. How did our cultural perception of military service change so drastically in just over half a century? As we watched the towers fall, we found ourselves face to face with a new enemy. One of the most vexing questions for the framers of the Constitution was how to create a vigorous and independent executive without making him king. More Courses on Military History, Strategy, and Civil-Military Relations. 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. Recent history taught us that wars are supposed to last four to eight years, tops. 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