Half of Americans say using military force against countries that may seriously threaten the U.S. – but have not attacked it – can often or sometimes be justified.
There were around 20.4 million U.S. veterans in 2016, representing less than 10% of the total U.S. adult population. Read key findings about U.S. veterans.
Americans give strongly positive ratings to teachers and members of the military, while ratings of political and ideological groups – Democrats, Republicans, liberals and conservatives – are much less positive, and more starkly divided along partisan lines.
The number of active-duty U.S. military troops stationed overseas has dipped below 200,000 for the first time in at least 60 years.
John Kelly is the first chief of staff in more than four decades to come from the upper ranks of the military, and unlike most of his predecessors he has no prior work experience in the White House or campaign politics.
U.S. veterans, who broadly supported Donald Trump in the 2016 election, have remained positive about the job he is doing as president.
The demographic makeup of the country's active-duty force has changed over time, and those changes tend to reflect trends in the broader society.
At least four secretaries of state previously worked as top executives for large private-sector companies.
The share of the population with military experience – counting those who are on active duty or were in the past – has fallen by almost half since 1980.
Three-quarters or more of Americans are confident in the military, medical scientists and scientists in general to act in the best interests of the public. But fewer than half report similar confidence in the news media, business leaders and elected officials.