Wednesday, September 07, 2005

What's Up With MTV and the Armed Forces?

Has anyone else noticed all the ads for the Army and Navy on MTV and on MTV.com ?

1 comment:

tankboy said...

These ads are disturbing to me on multiple levels. This post is coming from someone who was on Active duty for a good 5+ years.
Any-hoo, the Army being what it is and has been, ads used to just accentuate the positive aspects of Army life ("be all you can be," "do more before 9AM," etc) and just not mention the downside (you're in the Army, and it sure ain't for everyone). There are two Army ads that come to mind that anger me.
1. The scene: Some young soldier, in his PT's (physical training uniform), running in his hometown, past families and children who see him in his fitness with his high-fade haircut, with a confident young-soldier voiceover: "I'm doing it for my hometown. I'm doing it for them." The problem with this ad: the U.S. Army mission is overwhelmingly Iraq and Afghanistan. It is an absolute that if you're in the Army and you're not there now, you will be very soon. And if you just got back, you'll be going again very soon (I have friends who have gotten just over 1 year out of country before another 1+ year tour hits again). And the bottom line is, you won't be "doing it for them." You won't ever be seen by your hometown, running by with pride. You'll be in a town that, most likely, no one in your hometown has ever heard of on a highly dubious mission of questionable necessity that has absolutely nothing to do with your home town. Get on the truck, soldier, you're headed back to the sandbox. And, if an actual disaster DOES hit your hometown (a-la Katrina), you won't be able to do anything anyway because you'll be deployed on the other side of the world. So, basically, this ad is a complete lie.
2: The scene: A son and his father are playing pool. The father is concerned by his son saying that he's joining the Army reserve.
Father: "It's the Army."
Son: "It's the Army Reserve. They'll train me and I'll be around here until they need me."
The problem with this ad: They need you now, soldier. Reserve and National Guard units (a.k.a. the weekend warriors) are already tapped for years to come, and you will not be spared from activation to Active Duty. It'll be like being in an Active Duty unit, only more poorly trained and with less job stability before and after your deployment.
Don't get me wrong: I'm glad I've served (hell, I may have no choice but to serve again in the IRR callups, aka backdoor draft). So this is coming from someone who is pro-service. Just anti-outright lie.