Peace Time: February 4, 2001


The US Armys new Army of One advertising campaign is working, so far. Activity on Army web sites is way up and recruiters are getting a lot more attention from potential recruits. But the recruiters, and the staff of basic training centers, are worried about a backlash. While the ad campaign stresses individuality, military organizations stress the suppression of personal desires to the needs of the group. Discipline, not individualism, is what makes an army work. But the ad campaign may yet work, for its intention was to break down the misconception among young men that soldiers are just a bunch of robots. While the troops must be disciplined, they are also expected to show initiative without losing their place in the group effort. Six months from now, when the first Army of One recruits have gone through their training and reached units, we will know if this new pitch is working. If it doesnt, the disillusioned troops, and those who didnt even make it through basic, will spread the word that the ads were must more media hype.


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