Volunteering for Foreign Combat Missions: An Attitudinal Study of U.S. Army Paratroopers

Academic Article


  • The sociological approach to the study of combat motivation has generally been grounded in the primary-group thesis; that is, it has been the strength or weakness of primary-group bonds that have determined the direction of study. Utilizing data obtained from a sample of U.S. Army paratroopers, we suggest that the primary-group thesis has been a limiting concept and that combat motivation may be the product of many factors. Our multiple regression analyses of 668 U.S. Army paratroopers indicates that certain individual, organizational, disciplinary, and patriotic factors are also related to the predisposition to volunteer for foreign combat missions. Moreover, some of these factors appear more relevant for some potential combat situations than for others. © 1981, Pacific Sociological Association. All rights reserved.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Cockerham WC; Cohen LE
  • Start Page

  • 329
  • End Page

  • 354
  • Volume

  • 24
  • Issue

  • 3