Military PR To Recruit Bodies, Hearts and Minds

"Army Strong, as the Army's latest recruiting campaign is called ... has a definite emphasis on electronic communications, from opportunities to chat live on the Web site with soldiers ... to interactive sections showing what boot camp is like, the different specialties the Army trains people for, and more," writes PR Week. Army podcast subjects range from soldiers' experiences to "the latest results for the Army's NASCAR team." The $200 million-per-year campaign is led by McCann-Erickson, along with other Interpublic Group agencies. Army outreach to Hispanic communities is handled by Weber Shandwick, and to African Americans by Carol H. Williams. The Army's racially-targeted outreach includes Spanish-language ads, "participating in Hispanic- or African-American-focused trade association conventions or job fairs," and "awarding research contracts to historically black colleges and universities." Meanwhile, the U.S.-led Multi-National Force-Iraq is seeking a new PR firm, for "rapid reaction information operations support" to encourage Iraqis "to support their fledgling government," reports O'Dwyer's PR Daily. The U.S. government is also "reviewing proposals for a multimillion-dollar PR blitz for its electricity sector rebuilding" in Iraq. Both searches are being conducted via non-public websites, as information about the Iraq PR contracts has been deemed "sensitive."


The US Army is tasked by this country - not by itself - with recruiting and maintaining a standing force of a particular size. We now see that standing force is not nearly large enough, and we've had to turn to the Guard and Reserves to fill out the force. As a result we have Pizza Hut managers guarding terrorists, and dry cleaners manning 50 caliber guns atop APCs.

The Army has no choice but to go out and recruit, in any way it can. Until this administration stops sending the Army in harm's way on fool's errands (such as driving around Baghdad and serving as targets for roadside bombers) they have to keep on recruiting at a manic pace.

If you feel so strongly, express your displeasure with the clowns in Washington (including this do-nothing Congress) who are sending our young people over there to die. Don't blame the Army for doing what it must to fulfill its mission. And don't forget that our military takes its orders from civilans. General Taguba certainly learned that lesson, didn't he?

This item merely describes the PR firms and tactics that the army is using to recruit. CMD reports on PR and propaganda campaigns of all kinds. I agree that the army is acting as an agent of the U.S. government when it does so, but is that a reason for us not to report on it?

As for whether its "standing force is not nearly large enough," I personally think that the U.S. military is more than large enough for national defense. The only reason it seem not large enough is that it has been deployed for missions that have nothing to do with defending the nation and everything to do with projecting U.S. power beyond its borders and controlling the affairs of other nations. In the end, I don't think it will be possible to have a military large enough for that purpose.

I don't disagree with you, and I acknowledge that you are simply reporting the tactics used to recruit. However, if the army IS going to be tasked with more insane and unwinnable missions like Iraq, the only way to maintain the army IS to enlarge it significantly.

And the only way to stop this insanity is to elect a congress capable of restraining an administration out of control. Or electing a president who is not an ignorant, intellectually incurious boob who is easily manipulated by these war-hungry so-called neocons. Preferably both.