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Morale is the capacity of a group's members to maintain belief in an institution or goal, particularly in the face of opposition or hardship.
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- [M]orale is the spiritual capacity of a people to endure pain and suffering, and not a campaign of bill posters, pep talks and band concerts.
- An American general defined morale as "when a soldier thinks his army is the best in the world, his regiment the best in the army, his company the best in the regiment, his squad the best in the company, and that he himself is the best blankety-blank soldier man in the outfit."
- Since 2009, $287 million has been spent on programs aimed at improving morale within the US military, which has shouldered two major overseas combat deployments over the past decade.
But these efforts may have been largely fruitless, as 52% of soldiers across all branches remain "pessimistic about their future in the military," according to an April USA Today report.
- A Brookings Institution report notes: "Observers regularly fretted over low morale during the defense drawdown of the 1990s, during the start of the Iraq War, during the Iraq Surge, during the Afghanistan Surge; and at practically all the points in between ... After each report of troop morale hitting 'rock bottom,' troop morale seems to slip lower yet and, still, the military soldiers on."
- Alex Lockie, "US military morale is reportedly at 'rock bottom' again", Business Insider, Jul. 1, 2015.
- Unit cohesion can be considered a contributor to morale. Manning reviews various definitions of the terms morale and esprit de corps and suggests that morale is best thought of as “the enthusiasm and persistence with which a member of a group engages in the prescribed activities of the group” (Manning, 1994). He suggests that esprit de corps is the counterpart to cohesion at the level of the organization rather than at the level of the primary unit and that cohesion and esprit de corps are each contributors to one’s morale.
- Robert J. MacCoun & William M. Hix, Unit Cohesion and Military Performance, in Sexual Orientation and U.S. Military Personnel Policy: An Update of RAND's 1993 Study, Santa Monica: RAND, 2010, ch.5, p.140.
- An official policy statement issued in 1940 by the War Department (predecessor of the Defense Department) said that intermingling the races would "produce situations destructive to morale and detrimental to the preparation for national defense."