American confidence in the U.S. military is the lowest it has been in over 25 years, according to a survey released by Gallup on Monday.
Only 60% of Americans had a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in the military, the lowest percentage reported since 1997, according to Gallup. The lackluster levels of confidence come amidst increasingly lower recruitment numbers in multiple military branches, including the Army and the Navy.
Republican confidence in the military has dropped more than 20 points in the three years since President Biden was elected, falling from 91% in 2020 to 68% in 2023. Democrats and independents have also lost confidence in the military in recent years; Democrat’s confidence in the armed services dropped from 68% in 2022 to 60% in 2023, and independent confidence fell from 68% in 2020 to 55% in 2023.
American confidence in the military held steady between 72%-76% from 2010-2020, then began to fall after the Biden administration withdrew U.S. forces from Afghanistan in August of 2021, according to Gallup.
The Army failed to hit its 2022 recruitment goal by roughly 25%, falling nearly 15,000 soldiers short. Top Army officials said the branch is likely to miss its recruitment goal again in 2023, the Army Times reported in May.
The Navy barely made its recruitment goals in 2022 by tapping into a delayed entry pool, leaving fewer reserves to call on for the service’s 2023 recruitment goals. Adm. Lisa Franchetti testified to Congress in April that the Navy will likely miss its goal by roughly 6,000 sailors.
The Pentagon found that 77% of young Americans do not qualify to serve in the military, due to factors like drug use, obesity and mental health problems, according to Military.com.
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