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The U.S. Army Is Spending Millions on Ads to Recruit New Officers. Just Not You


Today marks a new day in the U.S. armed forces. No, gays still can’t serve! But the Army is spending millions to advertise for new job openings!

They just aren’t open to you, homo. Yes, even in this recession.

With a revamped revamped marketing campaign, the U.S. Army is targeting a more elite set of recruits: those who qualify for officer ranks. The Ivy League educated! Those who want to lawyers, not realtors! Lt. Gen. Benjamin C. Freakley, head of the Army Accessions Command, calls this type of recruit “a different kind of thinker.”

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With TV commercials and web ads, the Army is pushing “achievement” rather than “the opportunity to go kill some Arabs.” Novel! The ads send you to, which has a handy Choose Your Own Adventure-style tool to figure out which type of officer you can be. (The clip here is a video from the website, not a TV ad.)

The advertising strategy comes after mountains of research into the “Army Strong” campaign that launched in 2006, and its effectiveness. Or lack thereof.

“We learned through research that when the ‘Army Strong’ music came on in that first second of the commercial, those achievement-oriented students would reject it because they would think it was not for them,” said George Dewey, executive creative director at McCann Erickson, the Army’s creative agency. “When these kids find out that the Army has produced these superstars, it’s an ‘aha’ moment for them.”


Those must be some magical brain implants the agency is using, ’cause that’s some damn fine-tuned research. But it appears to be on target: Last year, only 83 percent of new Army soldiers had high school diplomas, while the goal is 90 percent. And while since 2005 the Army added 50,000 troops, “a growing percentage of new recruits during that time have also been scoring in the lowest acceptable range on the Army’s vocational aptitude test.”

So how does this affect you? Well naturally, through our own branding and agenda setting, we’ve got America believing homosexual men and women are smarter and better adapted than your average American. So you’ve got your leg in the door! Just don’t leave it there too long, because thanks to your legislators and friendly White House inhabitant, that door will cut you off above the knee the second you mention that — despite being college educated, well traveled, articulate, and able to work well with others — you’re a gay.

Meanwhile, this multi-million dollar ad spend to attract new officers would sound just slightly more reasonable if the U.S. Army weren’t actively spending millions kicking out qualified officers like Dan Choi.