However, the question Jamie Holmes asks is: At what cost?
It’s no secret that the U.S. military has definitely shifted its recruitment tactics in the last few years. No longer emphasizing traditional recruitment tactics, the military now uses video games to promote itself.
One game in particular is America’s Army. That video game specifically targets 13-21 year olds. Another tactic is comic books/graphic novels, a ploy the Navy also uses for recruitment. The Navy released a graphic novel called Bravo Zulu, aimed at a minority high schoolers. In fact, most of the targets from these new recruitment tactics have been teenagers or high school students.
There have been some critical voices within the military community that express opposition to these nonconventional tactics. In fact, Sgt. Jesse Hamilton, who is also an Iraq War veteren, expressed disgust and couldn’t believe the Army has “resorted to such a deceiving recruitment strategy.”
Holmes also discusses other possible reasons why recruitment is very high, including economic disaster:
To be sure, Vets from Vietnam had shell shock and PTSD without video game recruitment, but targeting teens with video games and graphic novels that ignore the psychological realities of war is not the way to solve the recruitment problem at a time when the psychological health of those who are sent to Afghanistan and Iraq should be a top priority. If recruiting goals can’t be met without employing these deceptive tactics, the military must do better at explaining just how current engagements protect American interests.and
I cannot agree with Holmes more. If the military has no problem marketing to teenagers and high students, then the least it could do is shed some more light into the grave and grim realities of war.Published in