This article presents findings of a study conducted to identify stressors that may contribute to mental health issues of military female veterans. Female members in the U.S. Armed Forces currently occupy more non-traditional roles; therefore deployment to combat zones, commonly reserved for males, is being taken on by females. While at the present time females serving in the military are not allowed to serve in combat occupations, the reality is that many are being placed in combat roles or environments. Consequently, many are now confronted with stressors related to combat and multiple deployments. This study was based on a descriptive, non-probability, snowball design. In cases where participants displayed a reluctance to share some information in front of counterparts who may have been at a higher or lower rank level; subsequent semi-structured, one-to-one interviews were conducted. The latter approach proved more effective in gathering important information, such as issues of military sexual trauma (MST) and issues of intimacy upon re-entering the home environment. This study was conducted before January 2013, when Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced the lift of the ban on women serving in combat. Therefore, future studies will need to be conducted to discern how these stressors will affect them in their new role as active combatants.
|Keywords:||Female Combat Veterans, Females in the Military, Military Sexual Trauma (MST), Mental Health and Military Females, PTSD and Female Combat Veterans|
Professor and Faculty Mentor in the Bridges to the Doctoral Program, School of Social Work, College of Health and Human Services, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Michigan, USA
Graduate Student, School of Social Work, College of Health and Human Services, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Michigan, USA
Associate Professor and Director of the Field Office, School of Social Work, College of Health and Human Services, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Michigan, USA