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DoD Launches New Joint Service Ad Campaign

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 4, 2001 – Visit the DoD "Recruiting and Retention" web site at http://www.defenselink.mil/specials/recruiting/ for an in-depth look at recruiting and retention in the new millennium.

Since January, People, Ebony, Time, Sports Illustrated and other national magazines have been carrying colorful recruiting poster ads depicting members from different service branches with their families.

The print ads represent the first phase of DoD's new joint service advertising campaign, which seeks to reach American families who may influence their children to join one of the armed services, said Anita R. Lancaster, assistant director for programs at the Defense Manpower Data Center in Rosslyn, Va.

She said the new recruiting campaign is based on data from a 1999 survey that reviewed DoD's advertising and market research programs under former Defense Secretary William S. Cohen. She said DoD has used joint service recruiting ad campaigns since the start of the all-volunteer military in 1973.

"We've used joint ad programs for efficiencies. If you want to buy a high school student mailing list, you only want to do that once," Lancaster said. "We also have joint ad programs in the private sector and within the government to form a corporate umbrella over (individual) brand advertising."

Corporations like to have a general image, she said, adding that DoD's corporate message years ago was "Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines: It's A Great Place to Start."

The first phase of the ad campaign uses a separate color poster for each of the five military services -- featuring models depicting service members and their families, Lancaster said. In July or August, she added, new posters will feature real soldiers performing their jobs.

The posters display a Web site, todaysmilitary.com, which parents can use to access more information about military jobs and careers for their children, to include opportunities in the reserve components.

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