A Review of the New US Military Recruiting Video


Image courtesy of YouTube

Brian Kelly, Staff Writer

The US military periodically comes out with new recruiting videos, hoping to stir up a patriotic fervor in the citizens of the country, drawing them to enlist.  In the past, these videos have typically focused on the technological superiority and unparalleled bravery of the US military and its soldiers.  However, the newest recruitment ad significantly departs from this traditional approach, warranting a review.  The ad begins with a woman narrating over a cartoon, describing the “story” of an operator of the Patriot missile defense system. The decision by the recruiters to make the video almost entirely cartoon is a puzzling one, as one would think reality would be more motivating than fiction.  The narrator then goes on to describe how this operator was “raised by two moms”, and how she “took ballet, played violin” and “…also marched for equality”.  Once again, it is perplexing as to why the designers behind this video chose this methodology to attract future soldiers.  One hardly finds elementary school activities and the destruction of the nuclear family conducive to valor.  The video then goes on to describe the particular childhood struggles of the operator, and how they inspired her to live her life better.  Once this section of the video is over, it moves on to her college days, going particularly deeper on her time in a sorority, and how her fellow “sorority sisters” were accomplishing impressive feats, and how this brought her to enlist in the military.  At this point, one must simply ask, what on earth were the recruiters thinking?  What about a sorority girl strikes fear into the hearts of America’s enemies?  Who is provoked to such courage and sacrifice as is necessary to enlist in the armed forces by that?  The video then concludes with the operator doing some boot camp training, and finally with her addressing a group of other soldiers in what appears to be some sort of planning session, at which point the cartoon fades out and the operator is revealed to be a real corporal named Emma.

To sum up this analysis, the new recruiting video is nearly diametrically opposed to traditional military advertisements.  Whereas they tended to focus on strength, intensity, and masculinity, this new video extols social-norm deconstruction, inclusion, and femininity.  What this means for the future of the US military, only time will tell, but as of now, it appears it will be drastically different from its past.