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HomeGeneralControversy Erupts As U.S. Army Anti-Woke Ad Fuels War Talks

Controversy Erupts As U.S. Army Anti-Woke Ad Fuels War Talks

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In the world we live in today, a 30-second video can do a lot of good or bad as soon as it gets to viewers. Unfortunately, the latter was the general public’s reaction to a video posted by the U.S. Army on November 7, 2023. 

A US Military Officer in full gear
Facebook/USArmy

The video, posted on the social media platform X (Formerly Twitter), went viral for all the negative reasons shortly after the account posted it. X users took to the quotes and comment section to express their displeasure at the ad, claiming it wasn’t promoting inclusivity. 

The “Anti-Woke” Ad

The advertisement video that sparked public outrage on X was a 30-second ad that was supposed to promote the Army in a good light. The ad depicts a group of soldiers jumping from a Chinook helicopter and parachuting to the ground with smiles. 

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Military officers running
Source: Facebook/USArmy

The video also included the captions “Your greatest victories are never achieved alone” and “Be all you can be.”

The Public’s Interpretation of the Ad

On paper, this ad sounds like a regular video to encourage people to join the force. However, that was different from how the public interpreted it. This is because the ad featured predominantly white males, excluding women and people of color. 

A military tank in action
Source: Pinterest

As the U.S. army does not consist only of white males, it is easy to understand the need for representation across all boards. 

The Public’s Outrage

The video went viral on X, with 13.1 million views and counting. Several users mocked the ad for its lack of diversity in its comments section and quotes.

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A black US soldier
Source: Pinterest

For example, an X user, Carl Benjamin (@sargon_of_akkad), commented, “Where is the diversity?” along with a confused duck meme. His comment racked up over 176,000 likes and 137 replies agreeing with him.

ALSO READ: US Army Cuts Off Free Storage Benefit From Deployed Soldiers

Racism Came Into Play 

Surprisingly, another take on the video was that it was racist towards white people.

A soldier using a gun
Source: Pinterest

An X account (@BIPOCracism) wrote: “Y’all really think you could treat us (White men) like garbage, enforce diversity quotas, put black women in positions of authority because they’re black women, and expect us to look kindly upon you? The U.S. Army is a trash organization that needs to be rebuilt from the ground up.”

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Conservative Activists’ Opinions

According to some conservative activists, this video only “reinforced their anger” at the Army and its recruitment process. To them, the recent recruitment videos were insufficiently macho and somewhat degrading. 

Corporal Emma Malonelord
Source: Pinterest

Many also referenced a previous ad featuring Corporal Emma Malonelord, who talked about how she was “raised by two moms” and had “marched for equality.”

Some People Had Unexpected Reactions

While most people had strong opinions about the video, a select few reacted unexpectedly. They found the video “funny” and an opportunity to share various memes. 

US soldiers in action
Source: Pinterest

A user @JoelWBerry commented, “Don’t fall for it, boys,” with a “Star Wars” meme. Another user commented, “just here for the ratio,” with a laughing emoji suggesting he was only there to enjoy the backlash.

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Two People of Color Appeared in the Video

Despite the uproar caused by the video, there were two non-white soldiers present in the ad. However, deliberately or not, the two people of color were barely visible in the ad, so most people didn’t notice. 

Source: Pinterest

The primary focus in the video was the white males, and one has to watch the video with great intent to notice the other races in it. 

The Negative Impact of the Video

Without a doubt, the video has already done a lot of damage to society. Its comment section is filled with users complaining about the lack of diversity and opting out of enrolling in the Army. 

An Asian US military officer standing
Source: Pinterest

A user commented, “It’s too late for this marketing campaign to work,” while another wrote, “We’re not fighting your Zionist wars.”

Media Publications Critisized the Video

The conservative publication “The American Mind” also criticized the video.

The American Mind logo
Source: Facebook/TheAmericanMind

A representative of the team wrote: “The U.S. Army’s new recruitment ad is so cynical. After 15 years of relentless progressive brainwashing and doing a literal ‘stand down’ to root out “extremists” (i.e., white conservatives), they are now facing an existential recruiting crisis and must return again to seducing the children of said ‘extremists’ into fighting for their country. A country that no longer exists.”

ALSO READ: US Army Slashes Thousands of Jobs, Restructures Force in Preparation of Future Wars

Army Veterans Also Had Something To Say

Army veterans also had their opinions on the matter. Patrick Fox, a military analyst and U.S. Air Force veteran, suggested the new ad resulted from the Army’s widely reported recruitment problems. 

Patrick Fox, a military analyst, and U.S. Air Force veteran
Source: X/Realcynicalfox

He wrote: “This is the recruiting ad equivalent of the U.S. Army hitting the panic button. They were 25% short of recruiting goal targets this year.”

The Recruitment Problem in the Army

It is not news that the Army is facing a considerable recruitment problem. For the past two years and counting, they have fallen short of recruitment goals due to a shortage of applicants.

A U.S Army recruitment center in New Jersey
Source: Facebook/USArmyRecruiting Station-Edison, NJ

In the past year, the Army fell 10,000 short of its goal to recruit  65,000 troops after missing out on its target of 60,000 soldiers the previous year by 15,000.

Solutions to the Recruitment Problem

The top officials in the force are aware of this problem and eager to take steps to fix it.

A U.S Army recruitment process in Fairfax
Source: Facebook/USArmyRecruiting StationFairfax

At a press briefing discussing the issue, Army Secretary Christine Wormuth said: “It was evident we were going to have to make more transformative changes…The job market has changed significantly over the past 20 years, but we as the Army haven’t changed very much.”

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