, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 153-174

It's Not Just a Job: Military Service and Latino Political Participation


Using the Latino National Political Survey, this paper tests the hypothesis that military service serves to stimulate electoral and nonelectoral political participation by Latinos. The results are compared with those for Anglos (non-Hispanic whites). The data show that Latino veterans, and particularly draftees, exhibited higher levels of voting and low-intensity nonelectoral political activities. Anglo veterans did not increase their participation to the same extent. Service in the volunteer army was a much less important explanatory factor of both Latino and Anglo political participation. Military experience therefore has a greater impact on Latinos than Anglos, and the draft experience was more important than volunteer service.