Recruiters focus on parents

Heads up.

The public relations push comes as the Army and Marines, which absorb the brunt of the casualties in Iraq, encounter one of their worst periods in recruitment.

Among their initiatives:

  • Four new "influencer" TV ads by the Army, aimed at moms, dads, coaches and ministers. The ads air this month.
  • A decision to pair Army recruiters with Iraq and Afghanistan veterans on visits to the homes of potential recruits. The idea: Tell parents "the Army story," says Army spokeswoman Lt. Col. Pamela Hart.
  • A nine-minute video, "Parents Speak," in which parents of Marines say the Corps has been good for their children.
  • A direct-mail campaign by the Marines to parents of high school juniors and seniors. The Marines highlight the benefits of joining and ask for an opportunity to talk to the students' parents about a military career.

Studies for the Army show parents are the top obstacles to recruiting. "Opposition to ... military service is increasing significantly among both moms and dads," says a study of 1,200 potential recruits by the firm Millward Brown.

Another look at potential recruits, by GfK Custom Research, found that the biggest influences in candidates' decisions to join were mothers, named by 81% of respondents, followed by fathers, at 70%.
I wouldn't be half the person I am today without my military service. I used to always say I'd want my children to follow in my footsteps.

But that was before we made a habit of unprovoked wars of aggression.

The best way to talk parents into letting their children join the service? Stop using them as cannon fodder in unecessary wars waged for political expediancy. You see, in wars like Bush's, the bodybags don't seem worth the sacrifice to your average parent.

But hey, if the Army and Marines want a heck of a PR score to encourage parents to sacrifice their children, here's how to do it. It's a guaranteed winner:

Have the Bushes -- all of them with military-aged children and grandchildren -- ship their kids off to basic training.

by kos Tue Apr 5th, 2005 at 15:01:37 MDT

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