Military Divorce Rate Highest Ever, MercyMe Teams with FamilyLife

The rate of divorce in the US military was recently reported as 3.7%, with an increase in officer divorces accounting for an increase in the military as a whole.

The Air Force had the highest rate, at 3.9%.  Enlisted women had a nearly 10% divorce rate.

The general American population had divorce rate of 3.5% in 2009, the last year for which numbers are available.  (It’s unclear if these “population” numbers also included members of the military.)

While this may sound dire, it’s also worth noting it is difficult to assess the numbers in a vacuum.  For one thing, the military is a select population based on gender, age, and a variety of characteristics (including stress and combat).  Thus, it is difficult to compare it directly to the general population.  In addition, some reports have indicated the rate of marriage is also higher in the military than in the civilian population.

Family and quality of life are significant factors in a military member’s professional readiness, which is why marriage and family seminars feature so prominently in support for the military mission.

(For those trying to square these statistics with the stereotypical “half of all marriages end in divorce” numbers, remember the numbers cited here are per year, not per marriage.)

In response to the seriousness of the challenges to military marriages, the Christian music group MercyMe has teamed with FamilyLife for their 2012 tour to support military marriages:

Lead singer Bart Millard said, “FamilyLife has stepped up and said this needs to happen for our troops. Trying to keep military families together is something I take very seriously. [This] gives us all an opportunity to offer these couples a fighting chance.”