While powered armor is Starship Troopers’ most famous legacy, its influence extends deep into modern militaries. Over half a century after its publication, Starship Troopers is on the reading lists of the United States Marine Corps and the United States Navy. It is the first science fiction novel recommended by three of the five United States military branches.
When Heinlein wrote Starship Troopers the United States military was a largely conscripted force, with conscripts serving two-year hitches. Today the U.S. military has incorporated many ideas similar to Heinlein’s concept of an all-volunteer, high-tech strike force.
In addition, references to the book keep appearing in military culture. In 2002 a marine general described the future of Marine Corps clothing and equipment as needing to emulate the Mobile Infantry. Today, the U.S. Army and Marines are edging closer to the Mobile Infantry of Heinlein’s world by reportedly taking an interest in armored face shields.