Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Cassandra White

Second Advisor

Bethany T. Livermore

Third Advisor

Steven Black


Military service and reintegration into civilian populations often entails an abrupt disorienting shift in environment for members of the United States military. Navigating variable differences in military and civilian culture directly impacts the ways service members navigate and understand health and wellness. By examining the lived experience of military members, this research aims to recognize how military service is a transformative process of the mind and body and how identity is shaped and reshaped by the institutions they work for. Using ethnographic research, I argue that service members adopt the behaviors and values associated with the military environment which directly impacts their health and identity in and out of the military. This study suggests that the military institution’s involvement in fostering certain behaviors has a direct consequence on how military members navigate and conceptualize their own physical and mental health.