Australia: Psychs, Suits and Mess Committees on Steroids: The Changing Terrain of Service Transition in Australia
Ben Wadham’s and Deborah Morris’s chapter Psychs, Suits and Mess Committees on Steroids: The Changing Terrain of Service Transition in Australia begins by asking the reader to consider what happens to one’s way of being in the world as they join the military. Contending that an analysis of how one transitions must be attendant to the whole military life course, and not just how one exits the institution, the chapter brings three critical observations to the fore. Firstly, the authors question ‘who are veterans in Australia’? Secondly, the key challenges of transitioning are identified and placed within the changing context of policy-making. Lastly, the authors suggest that to transition in Australia is to problematically navigate a bureaucracy and political economy of the military industrial complex as a historically challenging relationship between the veteran and the state is met with commodification of veterans’ support. What becomes clear is the psycho-medico-legal lens through which Australian veterans’ transition is both constructed and framed. As transitional experiences are characterised as a private experience rather than an institutional effect, to become a veteran is to be an increasingly precarious position between the state, the society and the market.
KeywordsBasic training Culture Mental health Bureaucracy Veteran care
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