Mandatory military service was a hallmark for most males during the twentieth century. In the United States, for example, various selective service acts registered some 73 million men in the two world wars and conscripted 13 million. Millions more were drafted into the armed forces between the Korean Conflict and the US withdrawal from Vietnam, which coincided with the end of conscription in 1973. For American males, especially those who came of age during and after World War II, military service was a rite of passage.

Many men—and increasingly women in the years since the 1970s—did not willingly accept their personal subordination in a male-dominated hierarchal military. In Different Drummers: Military Culture and Its Discontents, Tad Tuleja, a folklorist and coeditor with Eric A. Eliason of Warrior Ways: Explorations in Modern Military Folklore, examines the “disjunction between organizational solidarity and individual pushback” in the military by looking at...

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