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Not the crew of a submarine? If so, would the crew of a destroyer be a countersubculture?

Seriously, the professional military as a subculture vis-a-vis civilians, and then the distinct subcultures within military forces, is a worthwhile area of comment. One of these days, I'll do more on the article on military sociology. There are pubs, for example, where one takes one's safety in hand if one is not a member of the Royal Marines, unless one is a U.S. Marine. An occasional exception may be made for Royal Navy personnel, who can have one drink and leave. Howard C. Berkowitz 21:13, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

Yes, tough one that. Also seems like policing when it goes wrong has a separatist attitude to the general public. Not to mention academic town vs. gown attitudes. But is it a subculture? I'd say in the military case, there definitely is a specific set of things which might be like a subculture - but to say the military of a particular country is a subculture? I'm not sure I agree with that (although I haven't got first-hand experience, never having been in the military). It would be like saying the medical subculture or the political subculture or the subculture of lawyers - professions rarely seem to be talked about in terms of subcultures. Nor are mainstream religions really thought of as subcultures, although they undoubtedly fall into any definition of one. I think part of what makes a subculture is that it is essentially a new way of living that is somewhat non-mainstream or even anti-estbalishment - when people talk about "the Christian subculture", they aren't talking about Christianity, they are talking about some of the wacky stuff like Left Behind novels and "Jesus junk". Putting on torn jeans and going to a punk show is subculture, but putting on a dinner jacket and going to the Royal Albert Hall is just culture - even though both are dwarfed by reality television! What defines the subculture? Popularity? Establishment? It's hard to tell. The same thing that makes Christianity a religion and Scientology or David Koresh's lot a cult.
A brief Google for military subculture brings back people talking about military brats, and specific subcultures within the military - the "brutal subculture" (which, according to one newspaper editorial, is deemed to be responsible for stuff like Abu Ghraib), the evangelical Christian subculture, gay subculture within the military, military music as a subculture - but few hits that come back seem to think of the military itself as a subculture. But, as I said, I don't know much about military stuff. –Tom Morris 21:58, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
Just read an interesting definition of a subculture: it's anything which, if taken to excess, might get one kicked out of school! Given this, it makes sense of why the military isn't a subculture but certain groups within the military are (being gay? Yeah, that'll still get you kicked out. Being brutal to the point of torturing Abu Ghraib detainees? That will too.) - and it also explains why classical music isn't a subculture but punk rock is. The only thing I don't think it explains is how most of the goths I've met are academic high achievers who stayed in school at a much higher rate than the mainstreamers they looked down upon! –Tom Morris 22:05, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
Interesting that you bring up Abu Ghraib prison, as it's absolutely horrifying to the professional soldiers I know. Rather than being characteristic of disciplined military or intelligence personnel, in many respect, it was a real-life version of the Stanford Prison Experiment.
Unquestionably, some rites of passage in military units would indeed get you kicked out of school. In the West, at least, there's a tendency for the more elite the force, the greater the self-discipline. As an aside, the way Koresh's camp was attacked would get you thrown out of any special operations unit -- I'm not defending the decision to attack, but the actual tactics were a recipe for disaster.
Whether or not it's the military being a subculture, a lot of stereotypes exist. The best Byzantine historian I know would be great to have at CZ, but he has very poor Internet connectivity from his combat engineer unit in southern Afghanistan. I can't say I know a huge sample of current combat troops, but, of those with whom I've discussed it, they are perfectly aware of who is gay and it doesn't bother anyone. There is an evangelical subculture that significantly annoys troops. Howard C. Berkowitz 22:22, 8 June 2010 (UTC)