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Demob papers issued to a South African sailor in February 1946
Back page of demob papers issued to a South African sailor in February 1946

Demobilization or demobilisation (see spelling differences) is the process of standing down a nation's armed forces from combat-ready status. This may be as a result of victory in war, or because a crisis has been peacefully resolved and military force will not be necessary. The opposite of demobilization is mobilization. Forceful demobilization of a defeated enemy is called demilitarization.

In the final days of World War II, for example, the United States Armed Forces developed a demobilization plan which would discharge soldiers on the basis of a point system that favoured length and certain types of service. The British armed forces were demobilised according to an "age-and-service" scheme.[1]

The phrase demob happy refers to demobilization and is broadly applied to the feeling of relief at imminent release from a time-serving burden, such as a career.[2] In the Russian language it is known as dembel and has become a certain tradition in the Soviet and post-Soviet Armed Forces. A United States equivalent is "short-timer's disease", comparable to "senioritis" among United States high-school students.

Other uses[edit]

In professional diving, demobilization is the dismantling, packing and transport back to storage of the diving spread, and where relevant, restoring the site to initial condition. Mobilization is the converse process.[3][4][5][6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ See Alan Allport, Demobbed. Coming Home after the Second World War, Yale University Press, 2009.
  2. ^ Demob
  3. ^ "Dive Works Special Terms and Conditions" (PDF). Retrieved 22 November 2019.
  4. ^ "Job title: Diving technician" (PDF). Retrieved 22 November 2019.
  5. ^ OGP Diving Operations Subcommittee (June 2008). Diving Recommended Practice (PDF). Report No: 411 (Report). International Association of Oil & Gas Producers.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  6. ^ IMCA D 014: IMCA International Code of Practice for Offshore Diving (Rev. 2 ed.). International Marine Contractors Association. February 2014.


  • E McGaughey, 'Will Robots Automate Your Job Away? Full Employment, Basic Income, and Economic Democracy' (2018) SSRN, part 3(2)