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Volunteer military personnel

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Volunteer military personnel are volunteer personnel who enter military service. In an army without conscription such volunteers are the main source of military recruitment.

A military volunteer is a person who enlists in military service by free will, and is not a mercenary or a foreign legionaire. Volunteers often enlist to fight in the armed forces of a foreign country.

Many armies, including the U.S. Army, formerly distinguished between "volunteers" enlisted during a war, and "regulars" who served on long-term basis. Troops raised as state militia were always "volunteers" (even when recruited by conscription), while "U.S." troops could be volunteers or regulars. The rank of an officer in a volunteer unit was separate from his rank (if any) as a regular, and usually higher. When the volunteer forces were disbanded at the end of the war, officers with both kinds of commission reverted to their "regular" rank.

See alsoEdit


  • Cotton, C. A. (1990). Commitment in military systems. New York, NY, England: Greenwood Press.
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  • Murray, B. (2004). Castles in the air: Civilian trainee experiences with the RAF: Psychiatric Bulletin Vol 28(4) Apr 2004, 145-146.
  • Pastuovic-Terze, I. (1998). The main sources of stress for foreign war veterans in Croatia: Socijalna Psihijatrija Vol 26(4) Dec 1998, 167-170.
  • Perlstein, G. R. (1988). The mercenary as social bandit: A preliminary look: International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology Vol 32(3) Dec 1988, 201-207.
  • Sandecki, R. (1987). Women veterans. In Williams, Tom (Ed). (1987). Post-traumatic stress disorders: A handbook for clinicians.
  • Sarnecky, M. T. (1989). A history of volunteerism and patriotism in the Army Nurse Corps: Military Medicine Vol 154(7) Jul 1989, 358-364.
  • Segal, D. R., Burns, T. J., Falk, W. W., Silver, M. P., & Sharda, B. D. (1998). The all-volunteer force in the 1970s: Social Science Quarterly Vol 79(2) Jun 1998, 390-411.
  • Singer, M. S., & Coffin, T. K. (1996). Cognitive and volitional determinants of job attitudes in a voluntary organization: Journal of Social Behavior & Personality Vol 11(2) Jun 1996, 313-328.
  • Vinokur, A. D., Pierce, P. F., & Buck, C. L. (1999). Work-family conflicts of women in the Air Force: Their influence on mental health and functioning: Journal of Organizational Behavior Vol 20(6) Nov 1999, 865-878.
  • Wyatt, T. C. (1983). A contextual analysis of organizational commitment in the U.S. Army Reserves: Dissertation Abstracts International.

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