My Boots May Be Gone, But My Veteran Identity Marches On

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Quinn Davidson
Daniel Peat


By Quinn Davidson, Business Analytics

Advisor: Daniel Peat

Presentation ID: 29

Abstract: According to social identity theory, individuals have many competing identities that explain intergroup behavior. Organizations often develop diversity and inclusion programs based on these social identities to build trust and increase commitment among employees. However, organizations often overlook military veteran identity when developing these programs. In this study of 139 veterans, across a wide spectrum of demographics characteristics, we use cluster analysis and find that many aspects of veterans' lives are important to them; including, but not limited to, military, social, and personal identities. However, their veteran identity is the strongest and most influential identity. These results are especially prevalent in certain backgrounds, such as the Air Force and those who have been in the military for 13-19 years. Those who have been in the military have a strong, long lasting military identity that organizations should consider when implementing diversity and inclusion programs since it brings a different viewpoint on topics that an organization would not be able to get otherwise. Additionally, this identity transcends others that organizations tend to focus on more often.

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Category: Community & Cultural Connections