Focusing on life in the married quarters of the military barracks of the Zimbabwe National Army, this article explores how routine soldiering practices impact domestic relations between soldiers and their civilian family members who live with them on military bases, as well as how the tensions of soldiers’ domestic lives spill over into their military conduct, impacting relations between soldiers and their commanders. The article reveals how the married quarters and the barracks function as spaces of control and discipline. It also draws on ethnographic fieldwork conducted with former Zimbabwean soldiers and on the author’s observations from the time he was a Zimbabwean soldier in the military barracks. As the ethnography shows, what makes this case particularly evocative are the ways in which former soldiers centrally locate the barracks in telling of their military pasts, their family histories, and their recent migration to South Africa.

You do not currently have access to this content.