Speed Reads

military matters

Report: Morale in the military is low and falling fast

A recent Military Times survey of 2,300 active-duty troops found that morale indicators have declined in nearly every aspect of military life over the past five years.

The combination of several years of deep spending cuts, 13 years of war, and the dismissal of tens of thousands of troops have led to significantly lower overall job satisfaction, diminished respect for superiors, and a declining interest in re-enlistment now compared to five years ago.

Just 56 percent of respondents labeled their quality of life "good or excellent," a significant drop from 91 percent in 2009. Additionally, the report found that "today's service members say they feel underpaid, under-equipped, and under-appreciated."

Troops reported that stress created by long-term budget cuts is contributing to the morale crisis and pessimism, as are doubts about job security and a frustrating lack of purposelessness.

Despite the negative mood, the Pentagon reports that recruiting figures are as high as ever across the services. The Times added that military leaders are "embracing the challenge of inspiring a postwar force during these lean times" with community service outreach that seeks to inspire troops to succeed in their own careers, regardless of the military's combat situation.