Army unveils rebranding campaign amid recruiting challenges

U.S. Army soldiers march in formation
Associated Press/Ted S. Warren
U.S. Army soldiers march in formation during a change of command ceremony, Monday, April 3, 2017, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state.

The U.S. Army on Wednesday unveiled a rebranded campaign to bolster recruiting efforts as the military struggles to meet personnel goals, particularly among younger generations of Americans.

The Army’s latest recruitment campaign brand has a focused interest on attracting the next generation of Americans to the branch based on the argument that an Army career leads to self-discovery and limitless possibilities.

The new campaign includes a tweaked logo design — the same gold five-star symbol, but without the box that the logo previously included, to suggest the sky is the limit — along with a return of the Army catchphrase “Be All You Can Be,” with a fresh look.

The Army is also now airing a commercial that promotes the idea of exploration and limitless discovery while tapping into the message of serving the nation and the U.S. Constitution.

Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth said that, amid economic, political and social challenges in the U.S., the rebrand “illustrates how service in the Army is grounded in passion and purpose.”

“Serving our nation is a calling, and one that is fundamentally hopeful,” Wormuth said in a statement. “We want a new generation of Americans to see the Army as a pathway to the lives and careers they want to achieve.”

The Army, along with other branches, has struggled for years to meet recruiting goals. Last year, it was 15,000 recruits short of a recruiting goal of 60,000 people.

The military is struggling to compete in a strong civilian job market and among younger Americans who are less interested. At the same time, many youth are also not qualified for service because of obesity, mental health challenges and prior misconduct.

At a Wednesday brand launch, Army marketing officials said the multiyear process to relaunch a new brand began with the idea to emphasize the new campaign around the word “possibilities.”

After looking at multiple tag lines, the Army selected “Be All You Can Be,” which it previously used as a motto from 1980 to 2001.

Maj. Gen. Alex Fink, the chief of Army marketing, said that military officials didn’t reselect the phrase for “nostalgia,” but to “reintroduce America to its Army.”

“We are reinventing ‘Be All You Can Be’ to bridge the gaps of knowledge, relatability, culture and trust among our youth audience,” Fink said. “We expect this new brand will posture the Army as a place of possibilities where youth can find their purpose and also redefine what it means to ‘Be All You Can Be’ for this new generation.”

The Army is also rolling out two short films as part of the campaign, titled “Overcoming Obstacles” and “Pushing Tomorrow,” both of which include “Creed III” actor Jonathan Majors.

At the rebranded launch, Majors said his family has a history of military service and in his youth, he was inspired by the courage of his grandfather who served in the Army. The actor added that he was “deeply honored” to help with the campaign.

“There was no better collaboration I felt for me,” Majors said of helping with the rebrand. “We are all in our ways trying to move this country forward.”

More promotional content for the campaign is expected across television, print, digital billboards and social media platforms. The full campaign is set to tip off at the NCAA March Madness tournament later this month.

Tags Pentagon United States US Army

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