Most U.S. veterans who served in the post-9/11 era say their military service was useful in giving them skills and training needed for jobs outside the military, a new Pew Research Center report finds. And in fact, veterans of prime working age generally fare at least as well in the U.S. job market as non-veterans, though there are some differences in the work they do and in which industries.
Today’s active duty military is smaller and more racially and ethnically diverse than in previous generations. More women are officers.
What it means to be a military veteran in the United States is being shaped by a new generation of service members. About one-in-five veterans today served on active duty after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Their collective experiences – from deployment to combat to the transition back to civilian life – are markedly different from those who served in previous eras.
About two-thirds of U.S. veterans say the war in Iraq was not worth fighting, while 58% say the same of the war in Afghanistan.
A new Pew Research Center survey of veterans finds that a majority (57%) approve of the way Trump is handling his duties as commander in chief, with about half (48%) saying his administration’s policies have made the military stronger.
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.
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.
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.
As the nation prepares to celebrate Memorial Day, most Americans have feelings of pride in the soldiers who fought in America’s post-9/11 conflicts. But the public that will be observing the holiday is also one increasingly disconnected from the military.
In December 2011, the Pew Research Center examined the roles and attitudes of female military veterans and found that, while many combat roles were withheld from female veterans, women in the military did report experiencing combat and had many of the same issues as men during their transition back into civilian life.