From Gallup, which reports:
While Americans’ faith in many U.S. institutions has fallen from the levels of previous decades, the public’s confidence in the military has remained consistently high. The average confidence level across all 14 institutions tested in 2004 was 43%, compared with 32% this year. In contrast, the 73% confidence rating that Americans give the military today is essentially unchanged from the 75% rating they gave it 12 years ago.
The military reached its highest level of confidence — 85% — in March 1991, just after the first Persian Gulf War. This rating remains the highest Gallup has yet recorded for any institution. There was another sharp uptick in Americans’ confidence in the military after the 9/11 attacks. Confidence has fluctuated some in the years since 2001, but has generally remained high, dropping below 70% only once. From 1975 through early 2001, confidence in the military averaged 63%. Since 9/11, it has averaged 75%.
The last time when Americans’ confidence in the military was not No. 1 on Gallup’s confidence in institutions list was in 1997, when “small business” eclipsed it. Since 1998, however, the military has been No. 1 each year. Confidence in the military is currently five points higher than the second-ranking institution, small business (68%), and 17 points higher than the police (56%). Small business and the police are the only other two institutions with majority confidence in this year’s survey.