Be all that you can be?
January 10, 2001 7:32 AM   Subscribe

Be all that you can be? From the announcement: "The Army announced today a compelling new advertising campaign, marking its first major change in advertising direction since 1981. Ads unveiled today by Secretary of the Army Louis Caldera will open the innovative campaign, which centers on the message 'An Army of One.' "
posted by alethe (15 comments total)
Oh great... does anyone else remember a commercial that ran sometime last year?

I was basically all these army people talking about their roles in very monotone voices. The people's voices overlapped and sounded VERY much like the Borg.

And now this? Way to go :)

(my parents are both retired Marines, and I love our military dearly, I just think the marketing is funny)
posted by barenakedAvenger at 11:46 AM on January 10, 2001

I, on the other hand, have no love for the military. I live in a military town and it's a shame to see so many young minds wasted. They believe themselves to be heros, protecting us from outside threats, but really they exist only to satisy the profiteering interests of massively wealthy defense contractors. The army should be dismantled now, defense spending diverted to social programs and military personnel (whom I have nothing against personally) retrained to do something productive like environmental cleanup, teaching, civil engineering, social work...

No army? We'll be sitting ducks! Not exactly. Almost every conflict that the US has been involved in has been due to a corporate interest or our own imperialist agenda. By reversing this policy, we reduce or remove entirely the need for an immense military force.

We need to be better citizens of the world community and stop squeezing the life out of every brown skinned nation. Promoting lasting peace is not accomplished by parking a trillion dollar ship 5 miles off the coast and lobbing shells with the mass of a volkwagen into public markets.

posted by ritualdevice at 1:36 PM on January 10, 2001

By reversing this policy, we reduce or remove entirely the need for an immense military force.

No disrespect intended ritualdevice, but that sure sounds like a nice world you live in.

I sure wish I lived there.
posted by ratbastard at 1:59 PM on January 10, 2001

I live there, ratbastard. Ritualdevice for president?
posted by Neb at 2:29 PM on January 10, 2001

No offense taken ratbastard, we both live in the same world. The cool part is that you get to decide what kind of world it is.

Someone, at some point, has to decide "the way things are going to be". Why not us, now?

If you were designing a world from scratch, would it include Trident subs? Then why should you tolerate them now.

I know I'm an optimist and that it's a longshot. I happen to think it's worth consideration.
posted by ritualdevice at 2:38 PM on January 10, 2001

How about alternative slogans?
"Me... and this Army!" (in response to "Oh yeah, you and what Army?") or,
Army... Legy... Whatever! or,
Help put the ARM back into ARMY. or,
Go ARMMY! oh nuts. we are such retards!

I actually heard an NPR program the other day, Talk of the Nation or something, about homelessness. There were several real live homeless guests discussing the difficulties involved with raising a family or finding work while on the streets. A army recruiter called and offered anyone of them a role in the military and they all politely refused. I laughed rice through my nose.

posted by internook at 2:40 PM on January 10, 2001

Socialists are so perky.
posted by thirteen at 2:42 PM on January 10, 2001

Dang. I guess I was a fool to mock hippies for their naivity, self-destructiveness, and pretension.

Aw, I's just ribbin' ya ;)
posted by sonofsamiam at 2:42 PM on January 10, 2001

Almost every conflict that the US has been involved in has been due to a corporate interest or our own imperialist agenda.

Or refusing to cooperate with fascist dictatorships, or attempting to contain the spread of communism (or does containment==imperialism?).

By reversing this policy, we reduce or remove entirely the need for an immense military force.

Unless you consider the corporate interests and imperialistic agendas of other nations. What makes you think that other countries would not use their own military power to fill the void left by the US's departure? Or do you think that in the absence of an overbearing US, such things would not happen?

Of course, all wars are basically about economics. Our military may be wasteful, but getting rid of it isn't going to stop wars from happening. Then what do we do if we get sucked in again? Redevelop all the necessary technology?
posted by daveadams at 2:44 PM on January 10, 2001

Back in the oh, um, 70s or 80s, I responded to an Army recruiting ad under the name "Wolf J. Flywheel." Thought that was pretty obviously fake, but I guess not. The ad had gotten my attention because it had nattered on about how the Army was a life with CHALLENGES that would lead to a brighter FUTURE, etc. (caps original). A while later, a I got a letter that began:

    "Dear Mr. Flywheel,

          Futures with a challenge!"

and ended with

    "Futures! Challenges!"

and you can guess what came in between.

posted by rodii at 4:45 PM on January 10, 2001

Oh. . . sorry for accidentally being on topic.
posted by rodii at 4:46 PM on January 10, 2001

Congratulations daveadams, you are marching in step with the fear and propaganda that drives the system. You gladly forfeit 30% of your salary to built death machines to protect you from...who? Canada? Mexico? Cuba?

We don't fight dictatorships, we install them. More specifically, our next Commander in Thief's father installed quite a few of them nicely. When they become inconvenient, then we go to war.

The villification of Communist governments and the subsequent Cold War was really all just an excuse for more military buildup and profit taking. Fear drives the machine.

The county (Kitsap, WA) I live in has 1600 nuclear warheads in it. Does that make me feel safe and protected?

In answer to your question, do I think that all countries in the world would cease agression in the absense of an overbearing US? No. I don't. Things don't happen overnight. I don't honestly expect that we could demilitarize overnight either, but this is the 21st century and we need to start acting like grownups. You just can't intimidate people and expect them to take it without resenting you for it.
posted by ritualdevice at 6:36 PM on January 10, 2001

I knew there was something fishy about Dave Adams. I'm gonna go out and stop fighting wars, and not pay taxes. Thanks ritualdevice you have changed one person's mind, so it has all been worth it! I was not ready in the XXth century, but now the time has come for me to grow up.
Stop peddling death Dave, stop intimidating everybody.
posted by thirteen at 7:14 PM on January 10, 2001

I registered CO back in the early 80s, when Reagan reinstituted draft registration. But I've come to wonder whether a draft isn't actually better than a volunteer army, more diverse, and more people spread out in society with military insight and experience.

Clearly we're moving back toward a military that is very insular and heavily tilted towards certain demographics, and most people in society don't know much what it's about. (All due praise for American Beauty, but among other weaknesses, it used a cruel, hackneyed stereotype of the military lifer. Only Chris Cooper's top-notch performance saved a thankless role.) My brother was in the Navy, and I always thought if I had to, I'd try to get drafted into a Navy tech job. (Heck, it was the closest thing to Star Trek out there.)

But more and more I see a military something like the slim, somewhat aimless US Army of the 1920s and 30s.
posted by dhartung at 8:32 PM on January 10, 2001

When corporations start amassing their own armies, the government can retire from the military game.
posted by Zool at 9:42 PM on January 10, 2001

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