UChicago Podcast Strives to Bridge the Civil-Military Divide


When you come across a member of the military, what do you say?

It may be the oft-used phrase, “Thank you for your service.” But according to two 2018 graduates of the United States Naval Academy, the conversation usually ends there.

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That’s because of the civil-military divide, says Nick Paraiso.

“When we talk about the civil-military divide, it’s essentially the fact that less than 1% of the American population serves active duty in the armed forces and 99% [doesn’t], and that can have really huge implications,” said Paraiso. “Culturally, socially, in that you kind of develop these different worlds, ways of life.”

  • Thomas Krasnican and Nick Paraiso sit down with former U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri. (Courtesy Thomas Krasnican and Nick Paraiso)

    Thomas Krasnican and Nick Paraiso sit down with former U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri. (Courtesy Thomas Krasnican and Nick Paraiso)

  • Thomas Krasnican and Nick Paraiso interview retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal for their podcast “Thank You for Your Service.” (Courtesy Thomas Krasnican and Nick Paraiso)

    Thomas Krasnican and Nick Paraiso interview retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal for their podcast “Thank You for Your Service.” (Courtesy Thomas Krasnican and Nick Paraiso)

  • Thomas Krasnican and Nick Paraiso sit down with University of Chicago Institute of Politics Director David Axelrod. (Courtesy Thomas Krasnican and Nick Paraiso)

    Thomas Krasnican and Nick Paraiso sit down with University of Chicago Institute of Politics Director David Axelrod. (Courtesy Thomas Krasnican and Nick Paraiso)

  • The logo for the podcast “Thank You for Your Service.” (Courtesy Thomas Krasnican and Nick Paraiso)

    The logo for the podcast “Thank You for Your Service.” (Courtesy Thomas Krasnican and Nick Paraiso)

To help bridge the gap, Paraiso and fellow graduate Thomas Krasnican – now both graduate students at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy – created a podcast.

It’s called, aptly, “Thank You for Your Service.” Each of the podcast’s 17 episodes features an interview with a guest – including notable newsmakers like retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal and former U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri – while Krasnican and Paraiso break down present-day U.S. military topics.

“We think listeners shouldn’t feel isolated or blocked off from military issues just because the military seems to be so different from them,” said Krasnican. “So we wanted to give listeners a foothold.”

You can listen to episodes of “Thank You for Your Service” here.


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