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Kelly L. Fisher

Military personnel are organizationally-assigned expatriates who share certain characteristics with traditional, organizationally-assigned private sector expatriates but who are also distinct in a number of important ways. Military expatriates (MEs) may work in extreme contexts that are dangerous, highly dynamic, and that present multiple stressors. While scholarly studies on the ME are limited, it is generally recognized that military expatriates face professional and personal challenges beyond the typical experience for the private-sector expatriate. The ME must not only be proficient within their occupation, but they are also held to a higher standard of conduct as demanded by their extraordinary mandate by their nation to wage violence. Repatriation from a war zone also has specific challenges for both the serving member and their family: current Department of Defense reports show increased rates of substance abuse, suicide, and domestic violence by the ME while deployed and during repatriation. More broadly, in the US, as a civil-military institution, the military is a reflection of the larger society that reflects an increasing demographic diversity of religion and ethnicity, a growing immigrant population, expanding combat roles for women, and changing social mores on sexual and gender orientation. These issues will present a raft of leadership challenges in training and assigning the ME to an overseas post.