April 14, 2021

‘Support Our Troops’ No Longer Automatic as Trust in Military Falls

Featuring James Golby

Source: Bloomberg

Journalists Roxana Tiron, Daniel Flatley

Super Bowl flyovers, TV commercials celebrating veterans, yellow-ribbon bumper stickers: It’s long been reflexive for Americans of all political persuasions to “support our troops.” Following Sept. 11 and the deployment of troops to Afghanistan and Iraq, pride in the U.S. military and gratitude for troops’ service ran high, even among people opposed to those conflicts. In the years since 2000, multiple surveys have shown the public trusts the U.S. military more than any other public institution—more than organized religion and the Supreme Court, and vastly more than Congress.

But the increasing politicization of the military, a string of sexual assault scandals, the role of dozens of enlisted troops and veterans in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, and other factors have shaken that trust. According to a Reagan Institute survey conducted in February, confidence in the military has fallen by 14 percentage points since 2018—from 70% to 56%. The drop was significant regardless of age, gender, or party affiliation, and is in line with trends other researchers have observed.

Read the full story and more from Bloomberg.


  • James Golby

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Military, Veterans, and Society Program, Clements Center for National Security, The University of Texas at Austin

    Jim Golby is a Senior Fellow at the Clements Center for National Security at The University of Texas at Austin and a Lecturer in the Department of Government. Jim is also the ...