Britain’s Army

Britain’s Army Needs “Compassionate Snowflakes” according to a “barmy army” advertising attempt.

Britain’s army is on the hunt for the next generation of recruits to fill the large, emptying shoes of what has been one of the most prestigious military forces in history. The campaign posters that have been chosen for such a mission, though, might strike some with surprise:

“Behold the new $1.9 million campaign designed to lure the modern young man and woman into the armed services: the “snowflakes,” “phone zombies” and “class clowns.” Some young people, however, are finding the campaign to be a bit unbelievable.”

BBC took to the streets to ask young people what they thought:

The British Army’s new recruitment campaign targets “snowflakes,”phone zombies,” and “Selfie addicts” – What do people think? https://t.co/FJcp2Xb8PZ pic.twitter.com/WuSZJeJM8p — BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) January 3, 2019

That’s not to say many young people today aren’t just as the posters describe—“me me me,” “Selfie addicts,” “binge gamers.” What’s shocking is that rather than showing the intent to whip recruits into shape, these posters actually embrace these traits! Stating that the British Army needs compassionate snowflakes—focused phone-zombies—confident Selfie-addicts.

These new posters drew inspiration from the classic World War i Lord Kitchener posters, with some key differences. One is that the Kitchener poster declares, “Your country needs you.”

The new posters read, “Your army needs you.” This helps solves the problem that many young people in modern, deeply multicultural Britain don’t actually feel loyal to the country. The distinction may help new recruits feel more comfortable entering a separate entity.

Further, this phraseology highlights another change in direction in appealing to a new generation. The BBC spoke on the subject with Imperial War Museum curator Alex Walton:

“Ms. Walton says the themes of modern recruitment campaigns remain very different to those of the past. While the original Lord Kitchener image, along with other posters from the period, appeal to a sense of duty and obligation, today the focus tends to be on the opportunity for personal development,” she says.

So rather than encouraging recruits to have an outward focus of service, sacrifice and duty, the new-and-improved appeal is for an inward focus of self-development and self-service.

Then there’s simply the difference in the appearance of the figures themselves. Kitchener strikes a stern pose, pointing accostingly at the reader. Contrarily, the new posters depict faces that are generally quite neutral and soft. But in appealing to “snowflakes,” one certainly doesn’t want to appear stern, much less point at them.

Furthermore, the six different posters—a different individual on each—present a full “racial and gender” spread.

Surely many Britons are shaking their heads over this approach. It’s certainly left me “gob smacked”—and I’m well inside the target age bracket for this campaign.

Understandably, it has left one of the figures shown on the posters—the “snowflake” man—absolutely livid. A Scots Guardsman, he is now resigning from the Army, having not been told that his photo was to be used in this way.

Thanks to the Army’s new “cushy” postulating, he has faced a deluge of ridicule. Other soldiers in the Army have been left fuming at the “humiliation” of their profession by the simplistic campaign.

What were they thinking? The Army is desperate for new recruits and evidently pulling out all the stops to try to entice anyone to make up for the 8,000-plus shortfall in soldiers, air personnel and sailors.

But really? What does Russian President Vladimir Putin, with his “blood-and-guts” Spetsnaz, think? What about Iran’s ayatollah and his Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps? “Compassionate snowflakes” vs. Islamic State headhunters?

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time that the Army has released such an ad campaign. This time last year, the Army ran a series of television ads as part of its “This Is Belonging” campaign, addressing questions such as: “Can I be gay in the Army?”, “What if I get emotional?” and “Can I practice Islam in the Army?” 

It’s no surprise they used cartoon images in the advertisement. It evidently would have been a better option this time around, too. Again, we ask, what has happened?

As Charles Moore wrote in the Telegraph, the Army is to “defend Queen and country, and, where necessary, fight and kill their enemies. … In the ‘What We Stand For’ section of the Army’s official website, ‘courage,’ ‘loyalty’ and ‘professional behavior’ are rightly mentioned, but fighting, killing, the Queen and Britain are not.”

What has happened to what was one of the most “powerful, legendary and feared forces on planet Earth?”

Britain has become a “laughingstock” before some terrifying enemies. And it is about to be “swallowed” up by them.

Just another nail in Britain’s coffin.

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