Military Divorce Rate Among Active Duty Troops

The military divorce rate is on the verge of getting increased every year without taking a break.

Whatever may be the cause, it is alarming for the military sector. Because the military sector holds an honorable position in every place.

Though they are given so many incentives and benefits, the divorce rates are not low than the ordinary people.

Instead, somehow more for which it is getting highlighted among the nation.

So let’s check out the statistics and the various causes of why the divorce rate is higher in military. And why it’s not decreasing rather increasing per year:

Military Divorce Rate Statistics

Who would want to get a divorce because right? Because, we all get married hoping that we will live till death separates us.

Right, but in reality, we never know what is going to happen in the future.

The same goes for military couples. They also try to maintain their relationship till the last moment.

But when things are not going to change, and the best option is to get separated. Then ultimately they decide to get divorced.

From 1999 to 2011, the highest army divorce rate recorded was in the year 2011, with the record-breaking estimation of 30,000 marriages getting broke in just one year.

It was kind of shocking news to all. Because, in every country, military persons are given the highest honour as they work for the nation 24/7 without taking any breaks.

Now, for giving you a clear view, we have made a separate table for showing the military divorce statistics (all branches) for the record year in the military history 2011:

Military Branch Percentage Rate
Air Force 3.9%
Marine Corps 3.8%
Army 3.7%
Navy 3.6%


What is the Divorce Rate in the Military?

Generally, the divorce rate in the military, on average, is between the percentage of 3 to 3.1%.

However, based on the latest data received from Pentagon, it is seen that for the past 5 years, this divorce rate in the military is constant.

And it only varies between 3% to 3.1%  for both the male and female.

On the other hand, it is seen that the overall divorce rate for the active troops is somehow higher than the officers by an increased rate of 1.7%, irrespective of gender.

But compared to the military man, the rate of military women is more in the ratio of getting divorced.

What is the Divorce Rate of Active Duty Military Members?

The divorce rate of active duty military members in the U.S Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force is much higher than other divorce rates.

If we talk about the statistics, then among all the military services, the highest overall divorce rate for males, females, and officers is within the Air Force and the Navy.

You will be surprised after seeing the below result found from various other studies:

Among the 4 branches of the military services, the Air Force had the highest rate of 14.6%. The second-highest one is from the Navy, with having a rate of more than 12.5%.

At the same time, the other 2 branches Army and the Marine, is slightly more than 8%.

Is Military Divorce Rate Higher Than Civilian?

Well, the short answer to your surprise is a yes.

Many of us think that the divorce rates in the military are much lower than the civilian, based on the incentives and various benefits they receive compared to the civilian.

However, in reality, it is found that they end up getting divorced more than the civilian due to facing various issues.

Such as longer period of deployments, contract-based marriages, loss of ranks, etc. one thing to note is the military actually inspires one to get married.

After getting married, you will be eligible to get a lot of benefits such as health, household, medical benefits, etc.

As a result, many get married without thinking about their future that much and eventually part ways.

Why is the Divorce Rate So High in the Military?

Despite all the benefits that you receive from being a spouse of military members, it is sad to see that the divorce rate in the military is relatively high.

It is 10 times more than the general population divorce rate.

Well, there are 2 main issues that we have found. After doing much analysis of why divorce rate is so much higher in the military.

So let’s go through them to understand why it is increasing per year instead of taking a pause:

Contract Marriage

The contract marriages of the military members are quite different from the contract marriages that ordinary people encounter.

Here, contract marriages in the military are the marriages that happen between one military member to another one of the same branch or other branches.

It takes place to get a higher rank or other additional military benefits.

According to a 2012 study, a married military member receives double benefits services for marrying another military member compared to marrying an average person.

As a result, many do a contractual marriage for getting all these extra services, such as health care, survival benefits, household services, educational benefits for the children, etc.

It is making the proper use of the opportunities. But in doing these, they forget that marriage is not something that should be based on such monetary things.

Because all these things can be a foundation for a strong and healthy marriage, instead, it should be based on love and trust.

That’s why when time passes, they get into several arguments and fights, which thus eventually ends up getting a divorce.

Back to Back Deployments

In the military, we see that often the members are given back to back deployment.

As a result of which they need to stay away from their family members for a longer period.

And one deployment means staying away from the family for 9 months to 2 years.

So if any person gets consecutive deployment, then anyone of them  have to stay away from their families even if they don’t want to.

As they don’t get a choice and for them always duty comes first.

These long-distance relationships can often create a rift and awkwardness between the couples, no matter how much they don’t want it.

Due to this, the distance keeps getting increased physically and mentally, ultimately resulting in getting a divorce.

Hence, these are the 2 main reasons why the divorce rate is getting high per year in the military.

To Conclude

Many of us have a misconception that if you get married to a military man or woman, your life will be settled down, and divorce will never happen.

But unfortunately, it is a fairytale because if you have gone through the above statistics, we see that the military divorce rate is more than other professions.