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Military Culture Shift

The Impact of War, Money, & Generational Perspective on Morale, Retention, & Leadership

Based on more than 15 years of research, Military Culture Shift offers insights from the counseling office as well as perspectives on the effect of Department of Defense budget decisions, changes in generational views of authority, and emerging social trends within the military community post-9/11. Whether you are a military leader, historian, politician, educator, counselor, service member, or family member, Military Culture Shift will encourage you to understand and embrace:
  • How past decisions have led to the current state of wellness
  • Generational differences in motivation and views of authority
  • Ways in which learning styles impact training
  • Why families aren’t turning up for in-person and social events
  • Communication shifts that impact cohesiveness
  • Information distribution strategies that help
  • Leadership strategies to influence positive changes going forward
  • Limited Leadership Series

    Listen to discussions based on the book

    This podcast offers leaders an opportunity to understand the growing shifts happening within the military culture as an immersive supplement to the book. Based on 15 years of research, counseling, and teaching the military culture across all branches. Gain insights on changing perspectives within the culture, generational shifts in authority, the impact of Department of Defense budget decisions, emerging social trends within the military community, and the cumulative effect of two decades of the War on Terror on military family wellness.


    See the story and visualize the data through graphs and visuals described throughout the book. 
    Choose the slideshow or search by chapter below.


    By Chapter

    Generations as they enter and retire from service.

    Based on Pew Research and war/global conflict timelines. 

    By Cmglee – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=91612069

    Defense Budget- According to Congressional Majority

    The defense budget must be voted on and accepted by the House and Senate before going to the President to be signed into law.

    Defense Budget- According to Administration

    Each administration develops a National Security Strategy (NSS) which informs the defense strategy and budget. The defense budget, once voted on and appropriated by Congress is sent to the President to be signed into law before distributed.


    The 2021 Department of Defense demographics by generation.

    The Department of Defense 2021 demographics based on generation.

    Defense Budget According to Generations Entering the Force

    Overlayed on the rise and fall of the defense budget, the entry of each generation reveals how each cohort may have had a different experience of the military culture.

    The Defense Budget According to Force Generation Cycles (Change)

    Overlayed on the visual impact of budget spending and cuts, the force generation cycles reveal how deployments and changes in large scale movements would have impacted families.

    Maslow’s Hierarchy of Need

    Maslow taught that every individual has needs that must be met, most of the time in a certain order, to achieve “self-actualization” or purpose. It is possible that service members come closer to achieving this while military spouses loop on the bottom three levels of need.

    The Defense Budget According to Rise of Social Media

    The entry of social media and technology overlayed on the constant change of force generation, budget spending, and generational entry.

    The Defense Budget According to Social Media Use

    The usage of social media platforms throughout the years.

    Generational Data

    It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout. The point of using Lorem Ipsum is that it has a more-or-less normal distribution of letters, as opposed to using ‘Content here, content here’, making it look like readable English. Many desktop publishing packages and web page editors.

    It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout. 


    Unit Reconstitutions: Combat Stress As An Indicator of Unit Effectiveness by Stoney Portis
    General Wickham Army Family White Paper 1983


    Recommended Reading

    Author Corie Weathers, LPC, BCC

    Military Clinical Consultant

    Corie Weathers is the author of Military Culture Shift: The Impact of War, Money, and Generational Perspective on Morale, Retention, and Leadership (Forthcoming, November 2023) and Sacred Spaces: My Journey to the Heart of Military Marriage. Over the past two decades as a clinical consultant, she has specialized in marriage, military culture, special forces, and leadership development. A sought-after speaker and consultant, Corie facilitates transformative workshops and retreats for service members and families across the globe. In addition to providing subject matter expertise on military culture, Corie consults organizations and institutions on building trust, creating impactful programming, and working within a multi-generational team.


    This book is must read for any military leader serving today regardless of rank. Corie Weathers has done a magnificent job researching in great detail the generational differences that make up our force, and then overlaying on top of them the effects of the 20 year Global War on Terror, resourcing decisions/cuts over time and the subsequent impacts on soldiers and families. Written through the eyes of a mental health clinician and Army spouse who has treated hundreds of soldiers and couples who have struggled to keep it all together as they have lived the highest of highs and lowest of lows of Army life. This book exposes the impacts of poorly crafted policy, legislation and local Command policies and how they have had an oversized effect on an all-volunteer force—Corie speaks truth to power which leaders should heed the warnings. Corie offers recommendations and thoughtful suggestions along the way, including a resounding reminder of what the 26th CSA was fond of telling audiences: “People are not in the Army, people ARE the Army.” This book should be mandatory reading for anyone going into Battalion or Brigade Command (or other service equivalent), General Officers, DOD political appointees and Members of Congress and their professional staffs.

    Robert B. “Abe” Abrams


    The bedrock of American national security — and the American way of life — are the men and women who serve in our military and their families. No one has greater insight into what’s really happening and the challenges they face than does Corie Weathers. Corie takes her own advice: She “listens to the story” and has done so over 15 years as a mental health clinician and spouse of an Army Chaplain. She is on the front lines of the well-being of those who serve and those who are dearest to them. In this book, Corie tells the story of a proud but weary force and their families. With grace and honesty, she takes a thoughtful look at cultural shifts – generational, technological, and societal — that provide real challenges. Corie gives a clear-eyed diagnosis and a thoughtful, helpful guide for us all, recognizing that culture is in many ways the most important aspect of any group of people working together for a common purpose.

    If you are currently serving, have served, or care about those who do, this book is worthy reading to help better understand the trials and complexities of our most precious resource in national security.

    Mac Thornberry


    Military culture is an often discussed but rarely understood element of our national defense posture. It is a complex, multi-faceted web of intersecting communities, interests, and sub-cultures that define a part of our society that stand at the ready to defend our nation in times of crisis. But just as broader cultural shifts impart change on our society, similar seismic shifts tear at the fabric of our armed forces. In Military Culture Shift, author and mental health clinician Corie Weathers explores how these shifts are impacting servicemembers and their families and what this means for morale, retention, and leadership. Military Culture Shift is a phenomenal study of a vital segment of our society caught in the midst of generational change, reeling from two decades of war, and facing down the greatest threat to our national security in more than three decades.

    Steve Leonard

    @DOCTRINEMAN, senior assistant dean of the University of Kansas School of Business; coauthor and editor of To Boldly Go and Power Up

    Ms. Weathers’s book provides invaluable insight into understanding American military culture. The problem is not the warrior, it is society. Her project is a Herculean task, but Ms. Weathers provides us with the essential way forward—which is one our entire society must take together.

    Edward A. Gutiérrez

    director of the Center for Military History and Grand Strategy, Hillsdale College

    “… professional and personal, often eloquent, and always clear—especially given subject matter such as sequestration. … [The author’s intent is to] show how two decades of a compilation of ‘wicked’ problems such as war (including the abrupt withdrawal from Afghanistan), a pandemic, climate change, financial quandaries at the Department of Defense and the stress of relentless service are affecting how and why the US military organization doesn’t always work. … Weathers suggests remedies and tries to ‘present a narrative to help you develop empathy for the people involved.’ … The story she chooses to tell is indeed vast—but Weathers uncomplicates things. … Think of her book as a nuanced, empathetic explanation of how we got to this point, what we can learn from being here, and how we can use the opportunity to improve. The message is dire but the delivery is soothing. … In addition to the insightful considerations in the narrative, she offers at least 15 pages of ‘Leadership Tips and Questions’ that are useful anyone who deals with other humans.”

    J. Ford Huffman

    National Defense University Foundation