Anticipating Army Exit

David Ian Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


There is recent concern about what becomes of Armed Forces leavers. This is most apparent among leavers themselves and is a feature of short careers that compel individuals to find replacement jobs and lifestyles. Concern for one’s civilian future rises to prominence in the preexit period and is confronted in resettlement processes during this time. Based on qualitative analysis of interviews with twenty-eight UK regular Army career soldiers and officers, the article argues that the final year of service—though mostly a practical endeavor—is also an important time for tackling matters of identity. The work is underpinned theoretically by a combination of Mead’s pragmatism and Ricoeur’s hermeneutics and constructs a typology of preexit orientation. This is an approach that casts some doubt about the utility of projecting oneself into unknown civilian futures from the context of distinctive and familiar Army relations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)284-304
JournalArmed Forces & Society
Issue number2
Early online date29 Feb 2012
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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