But it’s not because military members are overwhelmingly right-of center politically. The poll found that:
In the last nine years of the Military Times Poll, the percentage of respondents who consider themselves Republican has slowly dropped, from nearly half of those surveyed in the late 2000s to just 32 percent this year. Increasingly, readers are more likely to describe themselves as libertarian (7 percent) or independent (28 percent).
In spite of the seemingly popularity of changing social norms in the military, including inclusiveness toward women and those who are openly homosexual:
The long-term effects of Obama's social policies on the military remain unknown. But one thing is clear: He is a deeper [sic] unpopular commander in chief among the troops.
According to a Military Times survey of almost 2,300 active-duty service members, Obama's popularity — never high to begin with — has crumbled, falling from 35 percent in 2009 to just 15 percent this year, while his disapproval ratings have increased to 55 percent from 40 percent over that time.
Overall, respondents are fed up with Washington politics, in particular the widespread perception that elected officials don’t care about the effects their policies have on them, including paltry pay raises:
Indeed, Congress just approved, at the request of the Pentagon and the White House, a 1 percent basic pay raise the for the troops next year — the second straight year of such a raise, constituting the two smallest annual increases in the 41-year history of the all-volunteer force. And for icing on the cake, they also approved a cut in housing allowance rates for troops who live off base.
As the poll concludes:
The last time the Pentagon and Congress allowed the value of military compensation to erode significantly, troops responded with their feet, creating a major recruiting and retention crisis in the late 1990s that took years to reverse.
In this latest postwar era — even as new threats spark around the world — the nation simply cannot afford to watch its military get taken over that cliff again. And with all that's asked of it, America's military certainly deserves better.