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Politics, Military Participation in

The military’s participation in politics encompasses diverse topics within the study of military science. With a coup d’état at one extreme and military members casting ballots in civilian elections at the other, there is theoretically broad ground to cover. This entry discusses the impact of military voters on U.S. elections and the restrictions placed on service members with regard to political participation.

In the United States, the military as an institution has remained largely neutral in national political discussions, with the exceptions being far outnumbered by the norm of partisan detachment. The military is a generally well-respected institution in American politics, and because the armed forces serve as a potent symbol of patriotism and security, active and former military members have invoked their military background during ...

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