Military personnel operate within the relatively closed environment of the Armed Forces (AF), which has a distinct culture that is broadly separate from the rest of society (Bergman et al., 2014). They are required to carry out duties that may lead to them being injured or killed and, often, the decision about whether to risk one’s life is not in the hands of the individual whose life is being risked. The social bonds between military personnel and their colleagues and their families, and with wider society, are worthy of some scrutiny. There is plenty of evidence that slightly less than 200,000 UK regular and reserve personnel are able to carry out the most arduous and dangerous of duties at least in part because of the close-knit and, in the main, supportive social networks that are characteristic of the AF.
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