Primary groups are those that are formed by a bond of like psychology, genetics, or phase of life. The members of a primary group are usually intimately familiar with each other, and form close bonds that often result in an altruistic approach to supporting, and if necessary defending the group. Usually, the group’s cohesiveness is based on time spent together sharing a culture, fostering kindred feelings in one another, trust and deep sympathy.
As a father and husband, my family is the most obvious primary group in my life. My wife and I share time, shelter, trust and a loving relationship with each other. We know each other’s secrets, fears and doubts, no matter how embarrassing or painful. We also share our victories, conquests and successes with support and pride, no matter how big or small they might seem. We watch our toddler son grow more into a boy, and inevitably a man, every day. We share in each stumble, giggle and tear, and help him to help himself in every way that we can possibly think of. We couldn’t imagine living any other way. The thought of ever having to be separated is inconceivable, and we revel in every moment we have together.
As a defense contractor, I am also a part of a more novel group of men that share a common interest in doing whatever it is that we must do in order to support the warfighter, and our country. We willingly put ourselves in harm’s way in order to bring our expertise and consistency to the combat zone, in order to provide our brothers and sisters in arms the communications and synergy that is necessary to ensure that as many of them as possible come home without being harmed. We ate together, lived together, celebrated together, and lamented together when called for. We all take pride in what we do, and know that we are stronger as a group if we work to keep each other sharp, educated and accountable for what we know, and what we have yet to learn. We sharpen one another, as iron sharpens iron. We do not judge each other for what we haven’t experienced, but we share our experiences so that we might learn from one another, and correct each other when one of us makes a mistake. By being surrounded by others who take their knowledge seriously, we make ourselves stronger by holding each other up when necessary.
Secondary groups are less intimate than primary groups, and are typically constructed for a specific purpose in order to achieve a goal. The members of secondary groups have limited sympathetic interactions with each other, and typically only interact with each other while striving to attain the goal of the group. Unlike primary groups, members enter and leave the group with little fanfare. The individual within the group may never consider making a sacrifice for the good of such a group, rather the participation of the individual is primarily egoistic in nature.
After recently taking a position with a commercial company, unaffiliated with the...