Being a proud former serviceman, I was keen to see what the Army would come up with as a replacement campaign to the bizarre adverts which were doing the rounds last year.
I say bizarre, because in one of the TV ads, the lads had to ‘stop’ their patrol whilst another one of the troop knelt down and started to pray.
Now, I don’t have anything against praying – I have been known to do this in my own way during times of high-stress and high anxiety and found it to be rather comforting.
But I don’t think I would ever risk the safety of my comrades by stopping in the middle of a ‘patrol’ and asking the troop to ‘standby’ whilst I have a quiet moment.
I guess that would be a bit like asking a warship to change course so that it points towards a certain direction and thus, in doing so, makes it easier to pray?
I get the point and the message that the civilian firm contracted by the MoD to come up with the campaign was trying to push, but I just don’t think that the images would have resonated with anyone; not least the very people they were trying to recruit!
So, for this reason, I was interested to see the latest adverts to be released which are aimed at filling the gaping hole of missing rank and file service personnel.
I will admit, that had you of told me that the Army would be looking for ‘snowflakes’ in their latest campaign (as above), then I would have thought that you might have had far too many sherbets over the Christmas period.
But that’s exactly what they have done, as seen by the poster above.
For me, a snowflake is someone who is offended by literally, everything, and someone who will not change their view on something, regardless of what other people say to them.
Perhaps not the best traits to have in the armed forces – especially when you might be ordered to run into the face of oncoming enemy fire.
No snowflake that I have ever encountered (and there have been many) would be ‘happy’ doing that.
I get what they are trying to say in terms of ‘compassion’ but in the years which I have been running my social media publishing business, I have never known a ‘snowflake’ to be compassionate.
I have always thought that people who are addicted to taking selfies (see above), are obsessed with their own appearance rather than possessing bucket fulls of confidence?
I am not sure that someone who is obsessed with their appearance will be too happy spending 5 days out in the wilderness, pooping in a bag and then burying the bag full of excrement in the ground?
Of course, needless to say that you cannot really be a good soldier, sailor or airman/woman unless you have confidence. And if you don’t have confidence when you start basic training, then you will by the time you finish it!
But I do not think that people who are obsessed with taking selfies could be described as being ‘confident’. Vain? yes.
And my experience based on my time in the armed forces was that if you were vain, then you tended not to be a team player.
And lastly, I would find it hard to understanding how unsociable people who spend hour after hour after hour scrolling through social media or playing ‘Angry Birds’ (is that still a ‘thing’?) could be deemed as being ‘focused’.
As part of my role in the armed forces on one particular deployment, I had to pretty much stare constantly at a piece of equipment, or rather, the screens on the equipment which displayed various bits of ‘information’ on them, for up to 6-hours straight.
Without a break. Nothing worthy of a medal, but it still required a great deal of focus.
And yet, I probably spend no-more than 15 minutes ‘focused’ on my phone when scrolling through social media.
Surely, you want sociable people in the armed forces rather than people who are happy to sit in a room full of people staring at their phone?
I would say that it would be better attracting sports enthusiasts instead of ‘phone zombies’ as they tend to have the focus and discipline needed in order to stay at the top of their game?
Had I of seen any of these adverts when I joined the forces aged 16, then they would have put me off from joining – they wouldn’t have encouraged me to join.
But then, I am nothing special so maybe I wouldn’t be the hardworking, focused and resilient person the forces would now be looking for…
I genuinely hope that more people do decide to join up.
My time spent in the armed forces were some of the best years of my life.
The friendships, the bonds you make with your oppos, the travelling, the tours and, of course, the nights out on the lash.
I am just worried that our beloved armed forces could end up attracting soldiers, sailors and airmen/woman who, when the s**t really hits the fan, will either be too busy questioning what they are doing, too busy getting lip fillers or too busy playing Angry Birds on their mobiles.
Hopefully I will be proved wrong and this campaign will be a roaring success…
And if you are reading this and are thinking of joining the armed forces, then do it!
You will learn things, experience things and build relationships with people that you would have never thought could have been possible.
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