MORGAN ZEGERS: Military recruitment ads ditch woke DEI themes and embrace strength, skill

Have you noticed fewer stories of activism and social justice in military recruitment ads lately? A few years ago, the U.S. military branches set out to make the armed forces more inclusive by promoting Pride Month, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives, and one branch even utilized active duty drag queens to encourage others to enlist.

These tactics, however, proved futile. Americans were not buying what the new recruitment advertisements were selling, and coupled with the more than 8,000 service members who were discharged for refusing to take the COVID-19 vaccine, new enlistments have decreased dramatically.

But recently, the branches have simultaneously begun releasing recruitment advertisements that ditch the inclusion and embrace strength, commitment, teamwork, and the like — leading many online to speculate that the U.S. is preparing for war.


Advertisements featuring soldiers and marines fighting to protect the country began airing on television and popping up on social media feeds, and though the U.S. must always be prepared for foreign conflict, the real reason for this shift is less complicated than most think.

According to American Military News, the U.S. military will have the smallest force in more than 80 years going into 2024. “The Pentagon recently informed Congress that the U.S. military faces one of its ‘greatest challenges’ as it navigates the ‘difficult recruiting environment’ that resulted in multiple military branches missing recruitment targets in 2023.”

The number of active duty service members is expected to drop to 1,284,500 next year — the “lowest number of troops since before the United States fought in World War II in 1941.”

That simple fact alone means that the Department of Defense (DoD) will need to temporarily abandon its DEI initiatives in favor of more traditional recruitment tactics that appeal to a majority of Americans who are the target audience.

This piece first appeared at TPUSA.

Image: Title: woke army ad


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