As the war in Iraq comes to a close and families are reunited with loved ones serving abroad, there has been much cheering and excitement. However, as service members adjust to civilian life, and families get used to living under one roof again, the transition can sometimes place a strain on couples’ relationships. This may be one of the reasons for the recent spike in the military divorce rate.
Chaplain Carleton Birch, a spokesperson from the Army Office of the Chief of Chaplains, explained, “As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan draw down, we’re going to put more families together who haven’t been used to being together.”
Military Divorce Rate Statistics
Although many military couples successfully maintain their relationships, some decide their best option is to part ways. In 2011, almost 30,000 marriages ended among those in the military, representing a rate of 3.7 percent. This is the highest rate of military divorce since 1999.
Among the different military branches, divorces in the Air Force were most prevalent with a rate of 3.9 percent. Almost one in 20 marriages among Air Force personnel ended this year, the most in over two decades. Not far behind was the Marine Corps with a rate of 3.8 percent, the Army with a rate of 3.7 percent, and the Navy with a rate of 3.6 percent. Divorce was particularly common among women in the service, with almost one in ten divorcing in 2011.
The general public’s divorce rate has been declining since 2000. It was at 3.5 percent in 2009, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Source USA Today, Military divorce rate at highest level since 1999, Greg Zoroya, 14 December 2011