Home > military and defense, RAND Corporation, social and cultural issues > Exploring the Association Between Military Base Neighborhood Characteristics and Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Outcomes

Exploring the Association Between Military Base Neighborhood Characteristics and Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Outcomes

January 29, 2013

Exploring the Association Between Military Base Neighborhood Characteristics and Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Outcomes
Source: RAND Corporation

Current extended military engagements in foreign nations have taken their toll on U.S. service members and their families. As a result, the services have made renewed commitments to support the needs of these families of military personnel. Quality-of-life and family programs across the services continue to grow. But no service has applied neighborhood theory and methods to better understand these military issues. Installations, and the communities where they are located, vary in terms of the quality of life they provide inhabitants. Similarly, the families who live in these communities and who are assigned to these installations vary in terms of their needs. A one-size-fits-all approach to base resource allocation and the provision of services may not be the most effective in fostering health and well-being among service members and their families. Thus, the services may want to use this approach as part of their efforts to identify gaps in support to service members and families so that they can make the necessary adjustments and better compensate where communities are lacking. This report explores the applicability of neighborhood theory and social indicators research to understanding the quality of life in and around military bases. It also highlights gaps in neighborhood study methodology that need to be addressed in future research. Finally, it outlines how a more in-depth neighborhood analysis of military installations could be conducted.

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