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Blockbuster Aids Army In Recruiting Effort

Guest agentforchange

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Guest agentforchange

Army National Guard slips recruiting postcards into video jackets of lewd films.

Let’s pretend for a minute that we’re veteran military recruiters and we’ve been ordered to attend a workshop on ways to attract new recruits to the Army National Guard and bolster the Army’s tarnished image concerning recruiting. We’re greeted with sobering statistics reflecting a looming crisis in military recruiting.


By the end of April, 2005, the Army had achieved only 84 percent of its target for the first five months of the fiscal year. The U.S. Army Reserve only managed 79 percent of its goal. Because the Army National Guard must collect its recruiting statistics from all 54 states and territories, its numbers are not available. Army Guard recruiters in October and November last year signed only 70 percent of their monthly goals.


Despite our best efforts, we’re told to expect worse, with levels under 50 percent in many states.


The Major giving the workshop is especially candid. He tells us that 43 percent of the active forces currently in Iraq are drawn from National Guard units across the country and the Iraq War has substantially increased the likelihood that fresh recruits, attracted by promises of signing bonuses, training programs and educational benefits, are increasingly likely to be sent to combat zones. This is quite a change from a few years ago when “weekend warriors” were pretty much guaranteed they could stay home.


He reminds us of poorly armored vehicles and mounting casualty rates from the ranks of the Guard contributing to plummeting numbers of recruits. We’re told that the Army has cut by 50 percent the average number of days between the times a recruit signs up and enters boot camp. “We’re not keeping up with the demand,” he explains, “It’s a tougher climate and we gotta think out of the box.”


We are discussing ways to bolster Army National Guard numbers and various ideas are examined, from increasing signage at NASCAR events to redoubling efforts in high schools in the most economically depressed areas of the country. We discuss the promise of signing up new Hispanic immigrants and someone suggests we open recruiting stations in El Salvador and other Latin American countries as a kind of admission ticket for U.S. citizenship. It may be something to consider. The Major is obviously excited about the surging numbers of Asian recruits who represented 1% of recruits in 2000 but 5% today. He tells us the Army is at “wit’s end” over African American recruitment. African Americans made up 24 percent of Army recruits five years ago but their numbers have fallen steadily to less than 14 percent, and it’s getting worse.


We are tossing around various marketing ploys to attract our audience when it is suggested we include National Guard Recruitment postcards in the video jackets of the Blockbuster rental videos our target audience would be most likely to view.


We settle on "Team America: World Police" as an appropriate film for our audience.

This is a great film that is geared to the movie’s audience that wants to see puppets having sex. This is perhaps the most offensive, vulgar and obnoxious film ever produced. It gets two thumbs up from the Joint Chiefs of Staff.


North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il finally acquires nuclear weapons and is set to use them so Team America swings into action to crush the evil infidel. In pursuit of the evil nuclear menace, our heroes destroy the Louvre and Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Sphinx and Egyptian pyramids, all in the pursuit of defending freedom. The film features an exploding Michael Moore who naturally plays the part of a suicide bomber. This film is thoroughly American and speaks to the soul of an idiot culture. “America F**k Yeah!” is its recurring patriotic refrain.


And so, the Army National Guard inserts its literature in video cases in Blockbusters across the nation to reach its target audience. The postcard says in dark, bold letters, “WE HAVE ANOTHER DVD TO RECOMMEND” and the other side says, DON’T JUST WATCH ADVENTURE. LIVE IT”


Be all you can be. F**k Yeah

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