8 Facts About Military Social Work You Need to Know Right Now-Carly Danowitz

  1. Military social workers provide many services to their clients. Some of these services focus on mental illness, wartime trauma, family violence, coping with illnesses, substance abuse, and improving their health. (Daley, 2003, p. 438)


  1. Conferences for military social workers should focus on topics such as cross-national cooperation, ethical dilemmas for military social workers, policy advocacy skills, and effective strategies for working with families of deployed troops, as well as the deployed troops themselves. (Daley, 2003, p. 446)

Lieutenant General John Nicholson, Commander of Allied Land Command (LANDCOM) and General Petr Pavel, Chairman of the NATO Military Committee

  1. Social workers began providing services to the military in 1918 when the Red Cross began a demonstration project that proved to be very successful. In 1945, army social workers were first enlisted and in 1952 the first air force social worker was commissioned as an officer. (Daley, 2003, p. 439)


  1. Social workers that work within the military setting, as both civilian and military social workers, are required to have at least an MSW degree, but many also have PhD’s. (Daley, 2003, p. 440)


  1. Military social workers initially took the role of mental health clinicians, and have since took on many other services such as substance abuse treatment services, family support programs, family violence prevention and intervention, medical services, and stress response teams. (Daley, 2003, p. 439)


6. Military social workers believe there are some common elements in which should be standards for what they do. Some of these include advocacy, client empowerment, and help with basic social services. (Daley, 2003, p. 437)


  1. Some of the requirements for military social work are ensuring the best quality of professionalism, implementing programs to reduce the likelihood of psychosocial problems, enhancing soldier’s ability to recover from warfare, and developing military policies, as well as procedures, that minimize psychosocial damage. (Daley, 2003, p. 438-439)


  1. There are currently 600 civilian social workers, 150 army social work officers, 215 air force social work officers, and 31 navy social work officers in the United States Military. (Daley, 2003, p. 439)




Daley, J. (2003). Military Social Work: A Multi-Country Comparison. International Social Work Int Soc Work, 46(4), 437-448. doi:10.1177/0020872803464002


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