If it weren’t for the large sample size, you would think that the results of the Military Times survey of troop morale couldn’t possibly have been accurate. Released last December, the numbers were brutal. In response to the statement, “The senior military leadership has my best interests at heart,” only 27% agreed, down from 53% in a previous survey conducted in 2009. As for, “Overall officers in the military are good or excellent,” only 49% agreed, down from 78% in the 2009 survey. Agreement with, “Overall my quality of life is good or excellent,” dropped from 91% agreement in 2009 to 56% in 2014, and President Obama’s personal approval rating was an eye-catching 15%.
By anyone’s standard, these numbers should have constituted an alarm for senior defense policymakers, suggesting that whatever they were doing, they should probably try the opposite. So it is disheartening, and even a little stunning, to see the news confirmed in recent days that the president is nominating Eric Fanning, a Washington insider and defense bureaucrat who has never spent a single day in uniform, to be the next secretary of the Army.
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