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Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program


Degree Type

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Scholars describe both the military and the family as “greedy institutions,” or institutions that require expansive time and energy commitments, and alter participants’ master status (Segal 1986; Coser 1974). However, the military’s employment benefits may counteract its greedy elements. I use data from the 2008 Survey of Active Duty Members to examine commitment to military employment in wartime, accounting for greedy elements of military service (such as geographic mobility, risk of bodily harm, and separations), job benefits, family structure, and gender. The results show that women in dual-service marriages, unmarried men, and those who experienced separations reported lower career commitment and affective organizational commitment. In contrast, the use of military job benefits was positively associated with commitment. Counterintuitively, parenthood, geographic mobility, and being stationed in Afghanistan were also positively associated with commitment. These findings complicate the military’s label as a greedy institution, and contribute to the literature on work-family conflict and gendered organizations.


First Advisor

Jennifer H. Lundquist

Second Advisor

Donald Tomaskovic-Devey

Third Advisor

Michelle Budig

Fourth Advisor

Sanjiv Gupta