A new recruitment commercial for the United States Army has caused some controversy. For years Pentagon officials have worked hard to promote the diversity of our troops. Unlike other similar videos, all of the featured soldiers in this one were white men. That has led to some outlandish assertions being made on the web.
The United States Army released a new video on Twitter-like platform X on November 6. Images of 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers parachuting from a CH-47 helicopter are accompanied by the uplifting message, “Your greatest victories are never achieved alone.” It’s a little film that promotes the beneficial aspects of joining a well-known Army division.
The video didn’t even had time to go viral when the X account “End Wokeness” responded with, “Oh s***. A new U.S. Army recruitment ad dropped and it’s all straight white men. We are definitely going to war.” This isn’t actually true. The ad concludes with a shot of soldiers walking off the drop zone, despite the fact that all the troops the camera zooms in on are actually white men (obviously we can’t tell if they’re straight or not). Somewhat obscured by the superimposed “Be all you can be” Army motto, a black female soldier may be seen near the center of this photo. Nonetheless, it’s not unfair to point out that the film presents a whiter, more male US Army than we’ve seen in recent years.
The ad has been criticized by conservative media outlets for being cynical. They’re arguing that after years of focusing on non-white and non-straight recruits the Army, now that it’s facing a severe recruiting crisis, is turning back to its usual recruiting pool in a panic. Some people are speculating that a new conflict is looming since white guys in uniform have been suddenly rehabilitated. Perhaps the Pentagon has come to the conclusion that being “woke” doesn’t win wars, albeit that’s definitely going too far.