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Coping with Transitions: The Case of Combat Reserve Forces

  • Liore Lander
  • Ephrat Huss
  • Ayelet Harel-ShalevEmail author
Original Paper
  • 7 Downloads

Abstract

Reserve duty is described as cyclical, ambivalent, and complex and as involving traumatic elements in all militaries. However, to our knowledge, little has been written about how the soldiers themselves phenomenologically define the experience within specific social contexts. Israel has mandatory military service for all citizens, many of whom continue to serve in the reserves. Given the ongoing conflicts in the region, combat reservists are often called upon to serve. Our aim in this paper is to investigate these soldiers’ transitions from their call up to their engagement in battle, and finally, to their return home. Our methods will be to use the narratives of twelve such soldiers. The central themes describe a deep conflict between collective versus individual cultural narratives that create dilemmas and stress at each of these stages of transition. The narrative framework and culturally contextualized, rather than trauma-related, focus of the findings shed new light on combat soldiers, self-defined stressors, and their relationship to specific socio-cultural contexts.

Keywords

Transitions in the military IDF Reserve forces Combat soldiers Israel Military Combat 

Notes

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Israel Trauma and Resilience CenterTel AvivIsrael
  2. 2.Herzog Hospital Psychotrauma CenterJerusalemIsrael
  3. 3.Spitzer Department of Social WorkBen-Gurion University of the NegevBeer-ShevaIsrael
  4. 4.Conflict Management and Resolution Program and the Department of Politics and Government, Faculty of Humanities and Social SciencesBen-Gurion University of the NegevBeer-ShevaIsrael

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