It was once said that if the military wanted service members to have spouses and children, they would have been issued to them. This attitude reflected a different era, a time when the force was largely made up of young men who were drafted into military service and when commanders were required to give permission to junior enlisted members to marry. Before the start of the all-volunteer force, spouses and children were a less common part of military communities and, when present, were typically those of officers or senior enlisted members.
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