The world, and the Unites States in particular, is undergoing a number of substantial demographic shifts that will increasingly require leaders to be skilled in 3C. The Army is a prime example of an organization that exists within that changing context.
Army Demographics Visualizations
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The following screens will provide a snapshot into various demographics of the US Army. Each of these offers an opportunity for leaders to further develop their Cross-Cultural competence by examining culture-general factors within units in the Army.
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The Army is a young force with 75% of the force under the age of 35. It is important for leaders to understand the cultures that exist in the places they work, the social communities they reside in, and the different groups they belong to because many of them influence the leader's values, worldviews, and assumptions. As you can see, much of the Army's culture resides in soldiers under the age of 35, so it is important for leaders to understand young soldiers and identify unique ways of developing 3C that their generation will positively respond to.
AGE OF TOTAL ACTIVE DUTY ARMY FY14
ACTIVE DUTY ARMY BY RACE/ETHNICITY, FY 2015
While the total active army is diverse, it is also informative to consider the race and ethnicity across the different ranks. As you have read in this chapter, internal cultural integration of diverse members in your organization leads to higher external cultural adaptation in foreign cultures and, ultimately, higher 3C. Notice that more than 40% of the active Army population is made up of racial and ethnic minorities. This population represents an untapped opportunity to bolster 3C by focusing on and addressing internal diversity concerns.
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CROSS CULTURAL IN THE ARMY
Another demographic to consider are the number of families in your organization. 58% of Army Soldiers are married. Of those, 5% of married male soldiers and 39% of married female soldiers are in dual military marriages.
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ACTIVE DUTY MARRIED BY GENDER FY15
Women made up almost 14% of the active duty force in FY15. As you can see from the graphs, women are heavily underrepresented within the Army across all levels. Think about the organizations to which you belong and consider whether there are particular populations that are underrepresented. How might these demographics present challenges within the organization and between your organization and other organizations that can be addressed with the effective use of 3C?
ACTIVE DUTY MEMBERS BY GENDER FY15
MILITARY ACTIVE DUTY AND READY RESERVE PERSONNEL TOTAL
Organizations often contain a snapshot or sample of the larger population from which they draw. The Army offers an ideal sample with which to view demographic changes, given its relative size.
The total Army strength consists of The Active Duty Army, The Army Reserve, and the National Guard. As of September 30, 2015 the total force numbered:
26-30 Years: 22%
<25 Years: 40%
As the diversity of America changes, the diversity of the Army also changes. This chart depicts the changes by component between 2005 and 2015. Given these demographic changes across time, consider how they might be reflected within your particular organization. How might an increasingly diverse organization best capitalize upon 3C?
RACIAL/ETHNIC MINORITIES IN TOTAL ARMY, FY05 VS FY15
ACTIVE DUTY SINGLE WITH CHILDREN FY15
Another important demographic to consider is the number of families involving single parents with children. How might single mothers and fathers affect an organization's culture that will require the effective use of 3C?
41+ Years: 11%
36-40 Years: 11%
31-35 Years: 16%
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It might be worth looking, in particular, at the different demographic make-ups of the different ranks. To what degree do these make-ups reflect the wider population? What are the challenges and opportunities associated with achieving a more demographically representative organization?
When considering organizational cultures, it's important to consider a number of factors that may not necessarily fit into common senses of the word "culture."
This is because not only do leaders need to be able to make effective use of 3C when working with different cultures outside of their organizations, but they also need to be aware of the culture that currently exists within their organizations, and consider the ways that that organizational culture meets or fails to meet the needs of its members. Take marriage, for example.
Another demographic to consider is the number of families in your organization. 58% of Army Soldiers are married. Of those, 5% of married male soldiers and 39% of married female soldiers are in dual military marriages (marriages in which both spouses are members of the military).
Consider how different married/single breakdowns within your organization might change how you approach your expectations for your subordinates? How might marital status influence your subordinate's goals? How might these expectations and goals change your organization's culture in a manner that will require effective use of 3C?
What components of 3C could be best capitalized upon to successfully address the needs of these families and integrating them into the organization's larger goals? What other demographic minorities could influence an organization's culture that would require the effective use of 3C?