Research Articles

Confirmation of Military Identity after Exposure to Stress – Influence of Status Dimensions



The first aim of this study of Norwegian veterans was to examine how deployment to international operations relates to a strengthening or weakening of military identities, and whether status dimensions are associated with a change in operational identity. The second aim of this study was to examine whether cohesion and employment status are associated with a change in operational identity. One hundred and ninety-nine Norwegian soldiers serving in Afghanistan completed an identity questionnaire before and after deployment, including various measurements of stressor load, cohesion, personal characteristics and mission characteristics. Mixed model analysis revealed that, as predicted, a change in the dimension operational identity, but not individualism, was associated with the status dimension threat. The analysis revealed no association between operational identity and cohesion, but found differences between temporarily and permanently employed personnel regarding level of operational identity. Possible implications of these findings are discussed, and further research is recommended.


veteranmilitary identitymeaningstatusemployment
  • Year: 2021
  • Volume: 4 Issue: 1
  • Page/Article: 183–194
  • DOI: 10.31374/sjms.57
  • Submitted on 1 Dec 2019
  • Accepted on 1 Jun 2021
  • Published on 19 Jul 2021
  • Peer Reviewed