And although nine out of 10 members of the armed forces think their families are proud of them serving their country, just half think they are respected by society.
The Ministry of Defence’s annual Armed Forces Continuous Attitude Survey (AFCAS) found that the proportion of army personnel who rated their own morale as “high” fell to 40 per cent this year, dropping five per cent since last year.
The level has declined steadily over the past few years, falling from a high of 59 per cent in 2010, the survey shows, while at the same time the proportion rating their own morale as “low” has doubled since 2010, from 15 per cent to 30 per cent this year.
Overall across the services, two fifths (39 per cent) of people rated their personal morale as high, falling from 42 per cent last year. The rate stood at 52 per cent in 2010.
Again, the proportion of tri-service personnel describing their own morale as low has risen from 18 per cent in 2010 to 29 per cent this year.
The survey, which assesses and monitors attitudes of service personnel, questioned 26,077 regular personnel from mid-January until early-May this year.
Of the respondents, just four in 10 (41 per cent) tri-service personnel said they would recommend joining their service to other people, compared to 52 per cent in 2010.
And although 91 per cent of members of the services said their families were proud of them, just 50 per cent thought they were respected by society at large – a question that has not been asked in previous years.
The survey found that nearly half (49 per cent) were satisfied with service life in general