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Veterans, globalized: veterans and their societies in international perspective.

26-28 March 2018

Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center 

Roanoke, Virginia, USA

Abstracts: papers

Managing identities and categories: veteran and civilian

Panel 1
Tuesday, 9-10:15.  Wilson Room
O-Club to golf club: Negotiating military identity and civilian authority

Kathryn Broyles

Nancy Wack

American Public University System


How are former military officers situating their military experiences amid civilian society, particularly when assuming workplace authority in civilian careers in management?  In particular, what rhetorical and relational contexts are tied to giving and following orders and how might we understand the veteran identity shift necessitated by civilian social/relational power structures? “Chris,” a retired veteran, honorably discharged after twenty-two years, serves not only a case study on the rhetorical construction of professional identity, but also as a point of departure for continued conversation around the challenges of moving between military and civilian management cultures.  Chris's struggle with communicating non-negotiable expectations to those he now supervises presents a scholarly opportunity to identify both social skills as well as underlying linguistic code switching employed by former military personnel facing the necessity to readapt the language of “orders” to the civilian language of impactful leadership, and change management.

Police officers as conflict-affected veterans: the experiences of members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary GC, Northern Ireland

Neil Southern

Sheffield Hallam University


The term “veteran” conjures up images of military personnel injured during the Vietnam War and the recent conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. Accordingly, the concept is associated with the military. However, this paper demonstrates that the term -- measured at the level of physical and psychological injury -- can be suitably applied to police officers who served in the Royal Ulster Constabulary GC during the Northern Ireland Troubles. Many officers sustained battlefield-like injuries comparable to those sustained by soldiers in high-intensity conflicts: burns, disfigurement and amputation, whilst others suffer the effects of PTSD. Such injuries have impacted negatively on officers' families as wives suddenly became the principal carer for their severely injured husbands. This paper deepens scholarly understanding of the concept “veteran” by developing the knowledge base of conflict-affected state agencies as well as by exploring an historical context not normally associated with the term.

U.S. veteran expatriates: Why do they go? Why do the stay?

Kelly Fisher

West Chester University of Pennsylvania

Yvonne McNulty

Expatriate Research


This study is a first step in comprehending where U.S. veterans relocate and their motives to do so, the unique challenges expat veterans face in achieving full employment, the diversity of people who choose to live and work abroad, and the wider work-life aspects underlying the decision to expatriate. We argue that a significant pool of veteran expatriates is already engaged in global mobility but that they are a mostly hidden and overlooked population. Moreover, veteran status can be viewed as both an enabler and disabler to expatriation.


Four main categories for living abroad were identified: (1) personal relationships; (2) lifestyle preferences; (3) greater career opportunities; and (4) to give back or make amends. Additionally, the embedded cases provide additional support to emerging research on the complex, shifting matrix of motivations and push-pull factors on expatriates, in general, and veterans, in particular. The study also identified practical factors that were found to discourage some veterans away from long-term or permanent relocation abroad due to difficulties in accessing VA benefits from overseas.

(View detailed abstract.)

This Veterans in Society Conference is based at
in collaboration with 
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