An unpatriotic Generation Z hesitates to join the military

Generation Z no longer believes in American exceptionalism, having been taught in schools about America’s wrongdoing and leaving students with little pride in their country.

After the Air Force projected it would miss recruitment targets by roughly 10%, the head of the branch’s Recruiting Service attributed the shortage, in part, to the lack of patriotism in Generation Z.

As one branch after another experiences a recruiting crisis, Generation Z demonstrates that they not only have trouble differentiating the military’s branches, but also answering basic questions about the federal government on civics tests.

Members of Generation Z also report that they do not subscribe to the nation’s shared origin story, as college and K-12 courses deliver a version of history that, by focusing on America’s wrongdoing, leaves students with little pride.

“Generation Z is not patriotic, in the traditional sense,” Maj. Gen. Ed Thomas, the Air Force Recruiting Service (AFRS) commander, told

Leslie Brown, Chief of Public Affairs for the AFRS, told Campus Reform that survey data show Generation Z’s overall distrust of the government. They hold the military in higher regard than other organizations, “but [trust] has dropped along with the others,” Brown says.

Insights shared by Brown,, and other reports suggest that, unlike their predecessors, Generation Z places less emphasis on characteristics that unite them as Americans.

Brown indicated that 10 percent or fewer of youth respondents in one survey believe that the military has members with similar personalities or that share other commonalities with them.

In other words, younger Americans no longer appear to see the military as a great equalizer that brings together diverse participants to achieve a common goal. They instead think of the military as a place to affirm their individual identities and values.

Because youth see a job as “an expression of their values,” Brown told Campus Reform, “career decisions are interlinked with their personal values.”

Data from a Morning Consult poll also show that Generation Z is more pessimistic about their country than older generations. They are far less likely than Boomers, for example, to feel “proud to live in the U.S.” or that America is an exceptional country, according to an NBC affiliate in Tampa, Fla.

“For today’s zoomers, COVID-19 lockdowns, social unrest, and graphic images of police brutality may be causing them to abandon a sense of American exceptionalism relative to older cohorts,” Morning Consult reported.

Generation Z–the most unpatriotic generation, according to the survey–could “think the United States is just one of many countries that ‘regularly represses civil rights.’” . . . . (read more on Campus Reform)

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