American adults overwhelmingly consider the Marine Corps the “most prestigious” service, according to a Gallup poll released Friday. What about the Navy, you ask? Of the four Defense Department services, It came in dead last.
Whatever, America, if you want think the Marine Corps is distinguished service, go right ahead. (You’re welcome for the Osama bin Laden thing, by the way. You know that was a Navy SEAL team, right?)
While the rest of the services are receding back into garrison or desperately seeking ways to get on ships, nothing will change for the Navy. It will still be forward. Sailors will still be working their tails off, providing Western Civilization with ballistic missile defense, facing down America’s adversaries and protecting the sea lanes where more than 90 percent of the world’s trade is transported. (Full disclosure: the author is a Navy vet who served four years in the fleet.)
And the hits keep coming. The poll of 1,028 adults, aged 18 and up, also reported the Navy is also seen as the least important service, with only 17 percent of respondents (the well-informed ones) saying that it was the most important. The Army topped that list with 26 percent of respondents ranking it as most important.
The founding fathers seemed to think that a Navy was important, according to Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, which gives congress the authority to “provide and maintain a navy” while only allowing them to “raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years.”
Our colleagues at Marine Corps Times first spotted this. You can check out their post here, and be sure to read the comments (“The prestige is the highest in my Corps because we strive to maintain and carry on that prestige” and “Because you can join the Army, Navy, Coast Guard and Air Force but you must become a Marine.” are among the best.)
By the way, if you want that epic display of sea power for your desktop image, left click for a full resolution JPG.