As a foreigner, I'm puzzled by the way U.S. citizens treat their military service members. Almost as if they are put on a pedestal above all else (don't mean to offend). People are always saying "thank you for your service" anytime someone brings up their veteran or military status. Some other countries see the military as simply a government job that helps keep things safe.

What was the major shift in the U.S. that has created such loyalty and devotion not seen anywhere else outside of the government?

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    Is this really a question about politics? It seems more like a question about the US society to me. Soldiers might act on behalf of the government, but this isn't even about the soldiers themselves but rather about how civilians interact with them.
    – Philipp
    Nov 13 '17 at 23:24
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    Also, "other countries" - citation needed. At the very least, in Russia, there was definitely a more deferential attitude to military service members - and that is despite the near universal draft. And it traces back to well before Communism too, at the very least back to 19th century. It's not an "american" thing.
    – user4012
    Nov 14 '17 at 3:27
  • @Philipp, Yes it really is. The US government budgets extensively for military propaganda; selling soldiers (and police) as state sanctioned crusaders is political. The negative face of the propaganda is the simultaneous sidelining and suppression of less adoring views of the military, and the co-opting of criticism. Then there's outright suppression of critics and those in their orbit.
    – agc
    Nov 14 '17 at 5:52
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    To make this question on-topic, probably the last sentence could be changed to "Did the US-government deliberately tried and created such loyalty and devotion towards military service members, and how ?"
    – Evargalo
    Nov 14 '17 at 10:03

US reverence for the armed forces is a complex phenomenon. Reasons for it include:

  1. All-volunteer force: All US service members are volunteers.

  2. Continuous war: The US has continuously been at war since 2001 (currently 16 years). With war comes a significant number of casualties.

  3. Warrior caste: US service members are drawn from a narrow selection of families, geographic regions, and demographic groups. So, the median American is unlikely to have much personal contact with service members.

All of this means that on the one hand, Americans are aware of the sacrifices being made by service members; on the other, individual service members may feel remote and easier to place on a pedestal.

  • You write casualty rate but link to casualty totals.
    – user9389
    Nov 14 '17 at 15:02
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    Also, don´t forget a massive advertising campaign, including sponsoring movies etc.
    – Daniel
    Nov 15 '17 at 13:20

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