Military Legacy: Use it or Lose it?

June, 2019

The aim of this paper is to initiate a discussion about the military readiness of the reserve forces by submitting our Military Legacy Model that is based mainly on Bourdieu’s theory of capitals.


This paper presents a Military Legacy Model that is designed to assist conscripts in forming a military identity during their training period, and later help them quickly re-establish their military attributes after they have been transferred to the Armed Forces’ reserves. This model can also be used to better understand the motivational dynamics of Estonian reservists who must regularly move back and forth between the civilian life and reservist duty. In order to create this framework we modified the Model of Transition in Veterans (hereinafter: MoTiVe) proposed by Cooper et al. 2017 and 2018.1 Both the MoTiVe and our Military Legacy Model are based on Bourdieu’s theoretical concepts of field, habitus and the conversion of capitals. Our hope is to foster further research into the Estonian Defence Forces (hereinafter: EDF) reserves in particular, as well as conscripts and reservists in other countries in general.

Full Reference

Laanepere, T., Truusa, T. T. and Cooper, L., 2018. Military Legacy: Use it or Lose it?. Estonian Journal of Military Studies, 6, pp. 22-51. Available at: <>.

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