Morale in the U.S. military is low again, reports Business Insider. Despite Millions of dollars spent to improve morale in the U.S. military, 52% of soldiers in all branches are still “pessimistic about their future in the military.”
According to Brookings, decreasing morale among Iraq and Afghanistan soldiers and veterans may be due to soldiers feeling that their efforts have been unsuccessful, as ISIS has recently made significant gains in Iraq.
“Ultimately, the military’s discontent may stem from dissonance between the commitment to, and pride in, the mission in Iraq and Afghanistan and the knowledge that these sacrifices have not yielded the desired results. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan arguably have prompted a crisis of confidence within the military itself. On the one hand, many troops still believe in the mission.”
Other studies show that there are financial causes for the low morale. There are fewer soldiers now that rate their pay as “good” or “excellent” than a few years ago. The U.S. government increased military pay just 1 percent in 2014, the smallest pay raise in 41 years. 70% of soldiers polled expected quality of life while employed by the military to decrease as time goes on.
Yet another reason could be that soldiers do not feel confident in their military or political leadership.
According to MSNBC in 2011, “only 26% of Army leaders who participated agreed with the statement that the Army “is headed in the right direction to prepare for the challenges of the next 10 years.” The poll also found that “just 27% of soldiers thought that leadership had their best interests at heart.”
President Obama is unpopular with some of the troops as well. Obama’s favorability rating was recently polled at 15% among soldiers in 2014.
On the contrary, there is information in the same poll that has shown a 30% approval rate from armed forces on some of Obama’s military policies, such as ending the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy and allowing women into combat units that were formerly male-only.