The Military's New Positive Image

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Call it the Top-Gunning of America. Ask any high school student what they think of the military and they’re likely to use words like “strong,” “brave,” and “heroes.” Ask them what they think of other institutions like the Congress, corporations, or churches and you’re likely to hear something less printable.

New research shows that confidence in the military is soaring, especially among high school and college students, while faith in other democratic institutions is down, way down. Some see this change as a natural reflection of the increased power and proficiency of U.S. forces. Others see it as a dangerous transformation in a country that once viewed standing armies with the same kind of skepticism typically reserved for kings and queens. In soldiers we trust.


David King, Associate Professor of Public Policy, Harvard, co-author, “The Generation of Trust: How the U.S. Military Has Regained the Public’s Confidence Since Vietnam’

Andy Bacevich , professor and director of the Center for International Relations at Boston University, and author of “American Empire.”