American confidence in the United States military recently reached its lowest point in 25 years, according to a new poll.

The latest numbers from the June 1-22 Gallup poll, used to measure faith in public institutions, follow a persistent dip in public confidence in the military over the last five years.

“At 60%, confidence in the military was last this low in 1997,” according to Gallup. The all-time low came in 1981, on the heels of the Iran hostage crisis.

While the military remains near the top of the list of American institutions that have earned a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of societal confidence, public perception of the armed forces has dramatically fluctuated over the last few decades.

Significant upticks in confidence arose in the aftermaths of the Gulf War and 9/11, while other periods instead observed drops, including after the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan.

Across party groups, Republicans remain the most likely to express confidence in the military, however that rate has declined by more than 20 percentage points (91% to 68%) since 2020. Independents (at 55%) have less confidence than Democrats (62%) do.

The Reagan Institute found in a separate survey last year that both Republicans and Democrats, largely for different reasons, say perceived politicization plays a role in their low trust in the military.

A total of 1,013 respondents participated in the June Gallup survey. The poll’s margin of error was 4 percentage points.

Jonathan is a staff writer and editor of the Early Bird Brief newsletter for Military Times. Follow him on Twitter @lehrfeld_media

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