Single Sailors Think Navy Hinders Likelihood of Marriage, Survey Says

Electrician's Mate 2nd Class Michael Feola and his bride are wed in the chapel aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), Feb. 1, 2018. (U.S. Navy photo/William Ford)
Electrician's Mate 2nd Class Michael Feola and his bride are wed in the chapel aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), Feb. 1, 2018. (U.S. Navy photo/William Ford)

Love is hard to find. It's even harder if you're in the Navy.

At least, that's what single sailors told Navy officials in a new survey on personal and professional choices released Wednesday.

The Navy says that 52 percent of unmarried women and 45 percent of unmarried men surveyed said being in the Navy has decreased the likelihood they will get married.

The survey did not delve into details about why sailors feel the Navy makes them less likely to wed, but the challenges of developing and sustaining relationships during lengthy deployments and over the course of frequent moves around the globe are well known.

"Results indicate that Navy careers negatively impact the personal lives of men and women," an executive summary of the survey's findings says.

The Navy is interested in these details and others about family life because it matters to sailors and the Navy wants to retain talented personnel. It also says these issues can impact readiness.

The survey also showed that women in the Navy are less likely to be married than men, 56 percent compared with 77 percent, respectively. But female sailors who are married are more likely to be married or in a long-term partnership to someone else in the military than men, 42 percent compared with 6 percent, respectively.

Of those relationships where both serve in the military, 56 percent of sailors said they're satisfied with their ability to co-locate in the same region as their spouse, while 21 percent were dissatisfied, the Navy said.

Meanwhile, 60 percent of married sailors said their Navy career has negatively impacted their spouses' employment opportunities. Many states are working to ease licensing requirements for military spouses in professions like teaching so they can have an easier time finding work after being transferred.

Sen. Tim Kaine also has introduced legislation aimed at improving the job chances of military spouses that includes changing federal hiring procedures to expedite hiring of spouses on or near military installations and encouraging private defense contractors to focus more on hiring military spouses. The legislation also aims to improve access to child care and asks the Defense Department to study how to expand the awareness of career training programs for spouses of service members.

The survey received responses from 8,040 men and 4,642 women and has a margin of error of 1 percent, according to the Navy.

This article is written by Brock Vergakis from The Virginian-Pilot and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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