What Percentage of the US Military is Conservative?

Written by

John Cotton


Logan Miller

what percentage of the us military is conservative

The US military consists of many branches, and the people in these branches are each unique in their own way. It could be from different races, backgrounds, and affluence.

Normally, each and every one of them will have their own opinion, and of course, they are free to do so.

So, what percentage of the US military is conservative? According to a number of sources, the military is predominantly conservative but is becoming less Republican.

Conservative Percentages in the US Military


Is the military republican or democratic?” Based on various sources, we can gather that it is neither, but interestingly enough, the military is still predominantly conservative.

Official military political party demographics aren’t publicly released, so we’ll gather data from various sources.

1. 2009 Gallup Article

According to the findings of their study, veterans are more likely to be Republican than those who aren’t. Across all age groups, there is at least a minimal skew toward being Republican.

The study, conducted among 138,049 national adults, indicates a lean toward the Republican party, as among the respondents, only 29% identify as Democrats.

2. 2018 Active-Duty Military Times Readers Poll

Between Sept. 20 and Oct. 2, collaborating with the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University, the poll found that male troops were likely to identify as Republican, and inversely, female troops as Democrats.

Summing the answers of both male and female service members, Republican and Democratic supporters are roughly equal. In the same survey, their findings also showed Trump’s approval slipping from 46.1% in 2016 to 43.8% in 2018.

However, it is important to note that since the sample is active-duty Military Times readers, the scope is too small to conclude that there isn’t a skew towards Republican support in our military.

3. 2015 Washington Post Article

Another source worth noting is a study by Verdant Labs, which aggregated data from the Federal Election Commission in order to produce a chart where we can see the percentage of conservatives in America grouped by their various professions.

So, is the military conservative or liberal? In the data they have gathered, the military does slightly lean towards the right. Wherein the Marines are the military branch that is the most conservative, and the Navy is the least.

What Being a Conservative Means in the Military

What does being conservative mean in the military anyway? In the military, as we’ve seen from the sources of data we’ve compiled above, conservatives and those who lean towards conservatism make up the general population of the military.

According to the Britannica dictionary, being a conservative means “believing in the value of established and traditional practices in politics and society.” However, in different times and contexts, the definition of being conservative may vary.

Since our governments aren’t theocracies that adhere to dogma and unchangeable traditions and are constantly inaugurating new or refined laws, people won’t be “conserving” the same values as their ancestors.

Republicanism and Conservatism


After knowing the meaning of being conservative, it’s safe to say that Republicanism and Conservatism shouldn’t be conflated with each other.

Although they are often linked, being conservative doesn’t necessarily mean you are a Republican. Sometimes their distinction can be otherwise imperceptible, and at other times their difference can be pretty obvious.

Conservatism is a political belief that places a strong emphasis on traditions and relies on individuals to uphold society. On the other hand, Republicanism is a political ideology that emphasizes self-rule, from a representative minority and oligarchy to popular sovereignty.

Historically, there was a certain point in time when Conservatism and Republicanism clashed. The forming of republics meant the dissolution of monarchies, wherein conservatives aren’t too keen on doing. Hence, Republicans are also called neoliberals.

However, today, because of a common enemy in Liberalism, conservative views and Republican views overlap. Thus, knowing the percentage of registered republicans can be a good indicator of being a conservative.



Is the military ethnically diverse?

Yes. Among the minorities, Blacks and Hispanics have the highest representation, where Blacks are most represented in the Army and Hispanics in the Marine Corps.

What military branch has the most representation ethnically?

The Army is the military branch that has the highest number of Blacks and Asians. Also, Hispanic representation in the Army is only second to the Marine Corps.

Do veterans tend to be more Republican?

Yes. Conservative veterans for America’s Republican policies are the vast majority of the military veteran population.

Based on the telephone interviews with 138,000 adults, conducted in 2009 as part of the Gallup Poll Daily tracking, it was found that there is a Republican skew when comparing data with veterans and non-veterans.

Can military personnel have political views?

Yes, and it is highly encouraged. In a memo by Department of Defense Jonathan Rath Hoffman, “The department encourages and actively supports its personnel in their civic obligation to vote,-”


Why is it important to know what percentage of the US military is conservative? The data is extremely useful to correctly gauge the factors to related questions like conservative views on military spending.

In this short article, although knowing the exact percentage of conservatives is complex, it’s safe to say that the military is predominantly either conservative or Republican, but not in as large a number as we might think.

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