As an Army veteran I’ve watched in amazement over the years as the service hardly ever gets its recruitment message right.
There was the idiotic and counterintuitive “An Army of One.” There was the recent trite and meaningless, “What’s Your Warrior?” That one is not only a grammatical jumble but sounds like a game show. Granted, “Army Strong” wasn’t as horrible as usual.
So now the Army, in their high ranking desperation and out of touch with the potential recruit reasoning, has resurrected the 80s slogan, “Be All You Can Be.” One problem, this isn’t the Reagan 80s or its Army. I was in that Army. But here’s how the brass tries to rationalize the once and future slogan.
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“It has never been more important to recruit and retain the talented men and women who make our Army the world’s greatest fighting force,” the service’s top enlisted soldier, Sergeant Major of the Army Michael Grinston; Gen. James McConville, the Army’s top officer, and Army Secretary Christine Wormuth said in a joint statement. “People are the United States Army’s greatest strength and our number one priority.” Nope. Not even close. Why?
Because it’s the Biden 20s and the Army and all the other services have lost touch with their basic mission. Personnel are wasted if they have no idea why they are there and what they could be fighting for. Mission is everything.
What is that mission? To kill foreigners and blow stuff up. But under a leftist administration and DOD the military has become an ideological programming agency and social engineering service rather than a force to strike terror and warning into our enemies. There’s a reason Putin moved into Ukraine after Biden was elected, especially after he saw our incompetent and humiliating bugout from Kabul.
The current Pentagon is more interested in DEI and woke training than it is in winning wars. Senior brass are promoted more on the basis of skin color, gender, and ideological loyalty than they are on proficiency of arms.
Our supplies are close to being maxed out in Ukraine while the Chinese stalk Taiwan. Our other adversaries, perhaps acting in coordination, plot and plan. What do we do in response? We push PC horse manure down the throats of our troops.
As such, a soldier these days can’t be all they can be in the military. It’s simply not permitted. Plus the slogan itself smacks of very non-Army earnestness. It also misses the mark in demographic targeting.
Who are we talking to here? Your basic Army recruit is 19-22 years old, mostly male. I was 19 when I went in. Do you think those lads will be motivated to join the colors by a candyass self-help catchphrase? No.
You need to emphasize adventure, travel, and, yes, killing foreigners and blowing stuff up. Though maybe not in those exact words. And oh yeah, indirectly, the focus should be on getting girls.
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I didn’t join the Navy, even though my Dad was WWII Navy and I love the water, because I thought the dumb Popeye hat wouldn’t attract females of a certain pulchritude. First time I got to a US naval base in Spain I saw that I was wrong. Really wrong. Nevertheless, my old Army Class A uniform was suitably useful in that regard. The old/new pinks and greens are no doubt better. Given this line of logic, I’d prefer this recruiting campaign.
For any guy who tells you the uniform, the service reputation, and their effect on women are not factors in his decision to enlist is lying. Though that does brings up the question, why would anyone join the Air Force?
Like New Coke and the 1975 NBC Trapezoid N logo, this tag will not have the desired results. The Army needs to learn PR lessons from the USMC. The Corps promotes strength, classic virtues, and devotion to country, not self-actualization. Build a message with that kind of punch and they will come to the Army.
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