US military morale hits rock bottom, Obama approval rating among troops at 15%
In the past, flagging morale may have been attributable to factors like repeated Iraq or Afghanistan deployments.
But a 2014 Military Times study suggests a financial cause for flagging morale: “In 2009, 87 percent of active-duty troops who participated in Military Times’ survey rated their pay and allowances ‘good’ or ‘excellent,'” the newspaper reported. “This year, the figure was just 44 percent.”
The US government increased military pay just 1 percent in 2014, the smallest hike in 41 years and down from a 3.9 percent raise in 2009 and a 6.9 percent jump in 2002, according to the Military Times.
Few of the soldiers polled believed their situation would improve: 70 percent of those Military Times surveyed said that they expected quality of life under military employment to decrease further in the future.
Pay and benefits aren’t the only cause of pessimism in the ranks. Some in the military worry that the the armed forces aren’t being adequately led into the future, and declining morale could signal a general lack of confidence in the military’s leadership.
MSNBC reports that in 2011 ” only 26 percent 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.'”
According to the Military Times , only 27 percent of soldiers thought that leadership had their best interests at heart.