Citizen, Soldier, or Citizen-Soldier? Negotiating Identity in the US National Guard

  title={Citizen, Soldier, or Citizen-Soldier? Negotiating Identity in the US National Guard},
  author={Bonnie M. Vest},
  journal={Armed Forces \& Society},
  pages={602 - 627}
  • B. Vest
  • Published 1 October 2013
  • Sociology
  • Armed Forces & Society
This study examines the construction of US Army National Guard members’ dual identities as soldiers and civilians and posits processes, including behavioral practice, spatial displacement, and narrativity, which soldiers use to reconcile these potentially contradictory identities to develop an understanding of themselves as “citizen-soldiers.” Ethnographic evidence gathered from in-depth interviews suggests that for National Guard members who have never experienced deployment, the two… 

A soldier’s journey: An arts-based exploration of identity

My time in the army has past but I still see myself as a soldier. Why is this identity still salient beyond my career when I no longer have a role “as” a soldier? How did this soldier identity form,

Demystifying the Citizen Soldier

Abstract : In his General Ronald R. Fogleman Award-winning essay, Air National Guard Colonel MarkMeyer claimed, With a strong National Guard and its membership of citizen soldiers, nationalsecurity

Finding Balance: Individuals, Agency, and Dual Belonging in the United States National Guard

Militaries exhibit characteristics of total and "greedy" institutions. However, in the United States National Guard where negotiation of dual belonging in civilian and military worlds is necessary,

Military Covenants and Contracts in Motion: Reservists as Transmigrants 10 Years Later

This article reexamines and develops the analytical metaphor of “Reserve Soldiers as Transmigrants” in three directions. First, we advance the notion of transmigration by linking it to the explicit

Saying no to military service – obligation, killing and inequality as experienced problems in conscription-based military in Finland

Abstract While studying citizen-soldiers, their dual identity as a soldier and a civilian have been highlighted. A citizen-soldier’s role is linked to citizenship and its obligation. The dual

Gendered Military Identities: Army Deserters in Exile

Much of what we know about gendered military identity has focused on the ways in which soldiers are trained and deployed in war contexts, while neglecting soldiers who desert the military. This

“Reservists”: Changing Identities Between Civilian and Military Roles

The experience of social identity for Reservists is of particular interest to theorists—Reservist engage in fast-paced intermittent service between military and civilian job roles. This chapter

“It’s in My Blood”

This article examines the habitus of soldiers who either deserted or resigned from the Zimbabwe National Army in the post–2000 crisis in Zimbabwe and now live in exile in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Reintegrating National Guard Soldiers After Deployment: Implications and Considerations

U.S. Army National Guard members are serving overseas on deployments at a level well above expectations of reserve service, and successful reintegration of citizen-soldiers postdeployment has become

War and Commitment to Military Service: Deployment and Combat Experiences Associated With Retention Among Army National Guard Soldiers

The present study examined career intentions in two samples—home-based or garrison (N = 12,583 soldiers in 180 companies) and deployed and recently returned soldiers (N = 4,551 in 50 companies).



Contradictory and Complementary Identities of U.S. Army Reservists: A Historical Perspective

Over the past three decades, evolving threats to U.S. national security have necessitated changes in the missions, structure, and organization of reserve forces. These changes, while intended to

Institutional Motives for Serving in the U.S. Army National Guard

The present study extended recent investigations of the motivations of American youth and active-duty soldiers to serve in the military. Unlike previous studies, this study employed a sample of

Being a Reserve Soldier

Drawing on social identity theory, the present article examines the extent to which soldier identification with the small unit is related to outcomes having increased importance to reserve military

Reserve Soldiers as Transmigrants

This article suggests a new perspective for examining the particular social and organizational characteristics of military reserves forces and the special experiences of serving in the reserves. To

Seeking a Place to Rest: Representation of Bounded Movement among Russian‐Jewish Homecomers

This study explores person-place relations in the context of the crisscross movement of Russian-Jewish immigrants (university students) who came to Israel in the early 1990s and who subsequently

Mastering Soldiers : Conflict, Emotions, and the Enemy in an Israeli Military Unit

Studies of the military that deal with the actual experience of troops in the field are still rare in the social sciences. In fact, this ethnographic study of an elite unit in the Israeli Defense

Talking about Identity: Arab Students at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Using life narrative interviews with Arab students with Israeli citizenship collected in 1997–98, I inquire into the processes and problems in talking about one's collective identity. In particular,

Will Citizens Be Soldiers? Examining Retention of Reserve Component Soldiers

In this study, past reserve retention studies are organized into perspectives, based on variables examined and underlying assumptions regarding reservists’ motivations to reenlist. Using these

Debating Self, Identity, and Culture in Anthropology

This paper explores relations between “identity” and “self”—concepts that tend to be approached separately in anthropological discourse. In the conceptualization of the self, the “Western” self,

After 9/11, What Kind of Reserve Soldier?

Two concepts, Moskos's institutional—occupational orientations and Meyer and Allen's organizational commitment, were used to develop several hypotheses concerning relationships of soldiers' stated