Preliminary results of our survey of 1066 adolescent members of a Canadian Forces (CF) community, comparing the mental health and well-being of CF and civilian youth in a secondary school adjacent to an army base, yielded surprising results. The data were collected in 2008 with an instrument that replicated parts of the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY). Our findings suggested that there are few statistically significant differences between CF and civilian youth on mental health and well-being measures. On the other hand, both the CF and civilian youth scored lower on crucial health and well-being measures than their peers in the national NLSCY sample. This research note attempts to explain these complementary findings, using data from follow-up semi-structured interviews we conducted in 2009/10 with 60 of the CF adolescents. It also considers the possibility of a ‘‘spillover effect’’ of military life stressors on civilian youth.