Image credit: U.S. Army/Nikayla Shodeen

January 30, 2019

What The US Army Should Learn From the British Army’s Punchy Recruiting Campaign

By Emma Moore

The U.S. Army will always face challenges recruiting the soldiers it needs, but an uphill battle is no excuse not to strive to do better —or learn from other countries' modernization efforts.

The U.S. and British Army's new recruiting strategies suggest two distinct approaches to recruiting young people for military service. "Your Army Needs You" is the British Army's next effort in its overarching "This is Belonging" campaign, which focuses on an underrepresented aspects of service: camaraderie. Comparatively, the U.S. Army in October unveiled "Warriors Wanted," its first campaign in two years, with a conventional focus on the nitty-gritty of warfighting.

While both campaigns attempt to gain the interest of the elusive 18-to 24-year-olds who make up 'Generation Z' (born 1996 and later), it is clear the British Army is more adept at responding to changes in youth populations, how war is waged, and the need for flexibility in recruiting.

Fundamentally, the British Army is seeking to increase the pool of recruits by increasing interest in military service: "This Is Belonging" aims "to give aspiring recruits the belief and confidence that they can thrive in the Army no matter who they are, or where they come from." The U.S. Army, in comparison, has continued to advertise a traditional narrative of the Army as the primary instrument of the U.S. military to defend freedom abroad — emphasizing high caliber weapons, helicopter insertions, and munitions — rather than focusing on the Army as a career and life choice.

The different emphasis of each campaign is evident in the British Army's outreach. The first years of the "This Is Belonging" campaign featured thoughtful commercials focusing on camaraderie, respect, and individual strengths, all underlined by the British Army motto: Be the Best. Accompanying posters depict soldiers on patrol together, waiting together, and eating together.

Read the full article on Task & Purpose.

  • Commentary
    • March 31, 2020
    Women in Combat: Five-Year Status Update

    It has been five years since the ban on women in combat was lifted in 2015 and women began integrating previously closed combat arms billets in January 2016. Five years is the...

    By Emma Moore

  • Commentary
    • The Hill
    • March 31, 2020
    VA must improve access to high-quality care for transgender veterans

    Nearly two years ago, I argued that then-incoming VA Secretary Robert Wilkie should expand care to transgender veterans, removing the exclusion of gender confirmation surgery ...

    By Kayla M. Williams

  • Commentary
    • March 27, 2020
    Sharper: Global Coronavirus Response

    As regions across the United States enforce states of emergency and a growing list of countries restrict travel, close schools, and quarantine citizens, the economic and human...

    By Chris Estep & Cole Stevens

  • Commentary
    • March 24, 2020
    Veteran Benefits in the DMV Metro Area

    In the post-9/11 era, a “sea of goodwill” made up of organizations in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors has formed to support veterans, service members, their familie...

    By Nathalie Grogan

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia