The military’s figure for divorce in the service for women soldiers of 7 percent amounts to almost twice the comparable figure of the married civilian population in the U.S. who are divorced. Contrary to popular belief, deployment of soldiers to the war zone for months at a time has not contributed to more divorces.
Since 2000 and possibly further back, divorce figures for military personnel have changed little despite the current conflict in Iraq, according to Melnyk. “The highest divorce rate was among Navy personnel in 2006. That service had a divorce rate among its married personnel of 3.4 percent,” the colonel said. The Army’s divorce rate was 3.2 percent that year, the same as the average for all branches of the military. The Marine Corps chalked up a rate of 3.3 percent the same rate as the Air Force, Melnyk said.
The number of divorces in the military is comparable to the divorce rate in the civilian sector of the U.S. population.
While official reasons explaining why the divorce rate for women in the service is 200% that of the rest of the country were lacking, the military spokesman offered up this speculation:
One thought is that support services available for military families are geared for supporting civilian wives of male servicemen," he said. "Another possibility is that women who are service members are different than men in the military in important ways. It has been said that the military recruits the most traditional men in our society. But the military recruits the least traditional females in our society. They are not the women who are most invested in the general role assigned to women. A third possibility is that it may be more stressful to be a civilian husband of a military wife than it is to be a civilian wife of a military husband
A key point that the Army spokesman didn't mention is that mil-mil marriages predominate for female servicemembers. I don't have a figure handy, but a military women married to a civilian man is quite rare--perhaps even less than the rate in the civilian world. More likely, a woman in the military is single, a single mom by choice (attracted by taxpayer subsidized childcare), or a wife in a mil-mil couple.
So, these marriages are doubly weird: first, they are unlike the typical civ-mil marriages where the civilian is the female and the male is the military. Second, they mix a military man--who tends to be more traditional and conservative than his civilian peers--with a military woman, who is likely to be less traditional, more feminist, and much more left-liberal than her civilian counterparts. On top of all that, you heap the unique demands of a military lifestyle on a marriage, and it's not a surprise that the unions do not endure.
To Noer's advice to not marry a career woman, I add "don't do blue / green" if you're a guy in the service. You have some serious odds to beat if you do. However, if you're a civilian guy who is happy to be a haus-herr (it will be tough for you to get and keep a decent job since you will move around so much), I say go for it.