Puncturing Misconceptions

Defense Secretary Ash Carter attempted to “puncture” common “misconceptions” about military service in a speech at the City College of New York in New York City on Tuesday. Just one percent of the American population serves in uniform, which means most people’s understanding of the military is based solely off of movies and video games, which Carter said is “only a slice of our military’s jobs, lives, and stories.” One such misconception, or stereotype, is that military service is not conducive to family life. However, 52 percent of the enlisted corps and 70 percent of the officer corps is married and the service has gone to great lengths to improve family life for troops, including offering 12 weeks of paid maternity leave to new mothers in uniform, said Carter. Carter said, “Less than half of young Americans today think the Active Duty military has people like them.” However, he assured the audience that, “no matter who you are, who you love, what you look like, or where your parents came from, if you’re able and willing to serve and meet our high standards, we give you a full and equal opportunity to do so.”