Watch the above video compilation, which juxtaposes recent military recruitment ads from China, Russia, and the USA. Even if you understand no Mandarin or Russian, you’ll discern the contrast. The Russian and Chinese ads look like actual military recruitment ads. Ours looks like something else entirely.
First, a bit of background. The American military draft ended in 1973. After that point, the US Armed Forces had to compete with private-sector employers to meet their recruitment goals.
This meant appealing to the values of each new generation. My generation, Generation X, was focused on career advancement and economic opportunities. I therefore grew up with “Be All You Can Be” US Army commercials, and the “we don’t ask for experience, we give it…” tagline.
And what are Gen Z’s values? The people running the military are not simpletons. They understand marketing concepts like USPs and focus groups. They did their research, you can be certain.
We all know that Gen Z values diversity. Okay…so how about a recruiting commercial featuring an African American woman from Chicago, or a young man from a farm in Appalachia? Or a Latino youth from Texas?
No one is saying, after all, that recruitment spots should be populated solely with well-heeled white dudes from the suburbs. (And that wasn’t the case even in the 1980s. Watch the Reagan-era ads immediately above. You’ll see plenty of women and minorities.)
But we didn’t get the black woman from Chicago, the working-class white guy from Appalachia, or the Latino youth from Texas. The latest US Army ad (below) features a young woman who is obsessed with LGBTQ issues, and who has two lesbian mothers.
Gen Z, our media pundits and academics breathlessly tell us, is the “queerest generation” ever. And so we get “Emma”.
But can “Emma” beat the Chinese and Russian commandos in a fight? If I were a betting man, I know which side I would place my money on.
I also think back to myself at military recruitment age. Had I watched the combined video of the Chinese, Russian, and American recruiting ads, I would have found myself inspired….to join the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.
We should all be concerned about this. This is not the relatively peaceful world of the 1990s, in which I came of age. In addition to Islamic terrorism, we now face a Russia and a China that are stronger than ever, and eager to upset the world order as we know it.
The ideological obsessions of our educated and corporate class used to impact only our educational and corporate systems. Now their reach extends to our national security and military readiness, as well