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Surveys of Officer and Enlisted Personnel and Military Spouses, 1985 (ICPSR 6340)

Principal Investigator(s):


The two surveys that constitute this study -- the 1985 Survey of Officer and Enlisted Personnel (1985 Member Survey) and the 1985 Survey of Military Spouses (1985 Spouse Survey) -- were conducted in order to study various issues relating to military personnel. Areas of investigation included (1) the response of personnel to changes in military compensation and benefits enacted in previous years, (2) factors affecting readiness and retention of active duty personnel, (3) projected behavior of military personnel in response to possible changes in personnel management, (4) differences in career orientations, attitudes, and experiences among members of different subgroups, e.g., minorities, men, and women, (5) the demographic, household, familial, and other characteristics of military personnel, couples, and families, including special groups such as dual-career couples and single-parent families, (6) the impact of military policies on aspects of military and family life such as residential arrangements, continuing education, and spouse employment, (7) family well-being, including economic issues facing military families, and (8) demand for, use, and perceived adequacy of programs providing family services. Data collected by the Member Survey include branch of service, pay grade, military occupation, length of stay at current location, problems encountered at current location and in moving to the location, expected pay grade upon leaving the military, probable behavior under different personnel management options, civilian work experience and earnings, and the degree of satisfaction or dissatisfaction with various aspects of military life such as pay and allowances, personal freedom, acquaintances and friendships, work group and co-workers, assignment stability, environment for families, frequency of moves, retirement benefits, promotion opportunities, job training and in-service education, job security, medical care, and dental care. The Spouse Survey covered some of the subjects included in the Member Survey, but with differing levels of detail and emphasis. Attitudes gauged by the Spouse Survey include satisfaction/dissatisfaction with military housing, rights of civilian spouses, levels of demands made on civilian spouses, availability of job opportunities for civilian spouses, and childcare centers at military bases. Additional information gathered by the surveys includes sex, age, race, Hispanic origin, income and debt, marital status, educational attainment, number and ages of dependents, whether or not dependents were handicapped, and main language spoken at home. Data for the Member Survey and the Spouse Survey are supplied in separate files. A Couple File, comprising husband/wife pairs, contains merged data from both surveys.

Access Notes

  • These data are flagged as replication datasets and are distributed exactly as they arrived from the data depositor. ICPSR has not checked or processed this material. Users should consult the investigator(s) if further information is desired.

  • These data are freely available.


WARNING: This study is over 150MB in size and may take several minutes to download on a typical internet connection.

DS1:  Member Survey Data in LRECL Format - Download All Files (111 MB)
DS2:  Member Survey Data in SAS Transport Format - Download All Files (179 MB) large dataset
DS3:  SAS Setup for Member Survey Data (Part 1) - Download All Files (22.3 MB)

DS4:  Spouse Survey Data in LRECL Format - Download All Files (50.7 MB)
DS5:  Spouse Survey Data in SAS Transport Format - Download All Files (75.1 MB)
DS6:  SAS Setup for Spouse Survey Data (Part 4) - Download All Files (17.4 MB)

DS7:  Couple File in LRECL Format - Download All Files (119.9 MB)
DS8:  Couple File in SAS Transport Format (Cases 1 Through 30,513) - Download All Files (108.2 MB)
DS9:  Couple File in SAS Transport Format (Cases 30,514 Through 61,027) - Download All Files (108.2 MB)
DS10:  SAS Setup for Couple File (Part 7) - Download All Files (7.1 MB)


Study Description


United States Department of Defense. Defense Manpower Data Center. Surveys of Officer and Enlisted Personnel and Military Spouses, 1985. ICPSR06340-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1996-07-23. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR06340.v2

Persistent URL:

Export Citation:

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This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Defense (MDA903-85-C-0228)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   armed forces, military families, military life, military officers, military pay, military personnel, military spouses, single parents

Geographic Coverage:   United States

Time Period:  

  • 1985-01--1985-06

Date of Collection:  

  • 1985-01--1985-06

Universe:   Member Survey: Active duty United States officers and enlisted personnel who were stationed in the United States or overseas on September 30, 1984, and had at least four months of service. Spouse Survey: Spouses of all married persons selected for the Member Survey.

Data Types:   administrative records data, survey data

Data Collection Notes:

There are two SAS transport files for the Couple File (Parts 8 and 9), each of which contains one half of the cases in the Couple File.

The sort order of the cases in the LRECL (i.e., ASCII) versions of the Member Survey Data File and the Couple File is not the same as the order of cases in the SAS transport versions of these files.


Sample:   Member Survey: Stratified random sampling. Spouse Survey: All members of the universe.

Data Source:

self-administered questionnaires

Active Duty Military Master and Loss File

Joint Uniformed Military Pay System File

Restrictions: (1) The Defense Manpower Data Center has stipulated that users not attempt to link these data with other data records. (2) This data collection may not be used for any purpose other than statistical reporting and analysis. Use of these data to learn the identity of any person or establishment is prohibited. As explained in the ICPSR Processing Notes in the codebooks, ICPSR masked a number of variables in order to protect respondent privacy. To obtain the original, unmasked version of these variables, researchers must agree to the terms and conditions of a Restricted Data Use Agreement in accordance with existing ICPSR servicing policies.


Original ICPSR Release:  

Version History:

  • 2007-05-04 The SAS transport files have been made available on the ICPSR Web site.

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