Divorce Rates Increase for Soldiers

By Paul Darin
Paul Darin
Paul Darin
December 8, 2009 Updated: December 9, 2009

In late November, the Pentagon reported that out of 765,000 married servicemen and women, approximately 27,312 filed for divorce—3.6 percent. This is a slight increase from the 3.4 percent figure determined last year by the Defense Manpower Data Center.

During this past year, the military has responded to the growing trend through support services and counseling programs. In 2001, when troops were initially deployed to Afghanistan and later in Iraq, the divorce rate among soldiers was at 2.6 percent and has been steadily increasing since then.

Findings show that a greater number of women are being affected. There is a 7.7 percent divorce rate among female soldiers, while their male counterparts come in at about 3 percent.

While a 3 percent to 7 percent divorce rate may seem minimal compared to the 40 to 50 percent among U.S. civilians, the steady rise in divorces among soldiers is still a cause for concern. In addition, these figures do not include the divorce rates among returning veterans who are struggling to adjust to civilian life.