The military remains high in the U.S. public’s esteem, but Americans believe the Air Force in particular is the most important branch of the armed forces.
A recent Gallup poll found that among 27 percent of Americans, the Air Force is the most important service, followed shortly after by the Army at 21 percent.
Likely part of the reason for the Air Force’s top marks is that it’s been at the forefront of the fight against the Islamic State with regular airstrikes and reconnaissance flights.
However, in terms of favorability, the Marine Corps slightly edges out the Air Force at 59 percent to 57 percent.
Gallup also found that slightly more than three in four Americans who know something about the military services have favorable views of the military.
Such views are consistent with previous Gallup polls surveying Americans’ views of public institutions. The military has topped the list every single time since 1998. A total of 72 percent of Americans have either “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence over the past eight years in the armed forces. While other institutions have steadily lost public trust, the military stands out as nearly unchanged for the last 12 years, though confidence in the military is not uniform and is slightly lower among liberals and millennials.
Gallup conducted this most recent poll from April 24 to May 2, using a random sample of 1,026 adults. The margin of error is plus or minus four percentage points with a confidence level of 95.
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