The civil-military divide is a term that refers to a growing cultural gap between the broader civilian society and the small percentage of people who currently serve, or have served in the military. But the term and its implications have yet to be clearly defined and understood.
A strange thing happened when I married a soldier. Whenever I mentioned my husband’s occupation, my subsequent words, whether controversial or trite, would be greeted with the wide eyes and reverential nods Americans now reflexively offer members of the military community. Sometimes I’d even get an awkward, earnest “Thank you for your service,” or “That must be so hard.”