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Release No: 448-03
June 24, 2003

DoD Launches Advertising Campaign to Reconnect Americans to the Military

Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness David S.C. Chu today announced the launch of a new advertising campaign designed to strengthen the personal bond between adult Americans and their military. The campaign links the values learned through military service to success in life. The overarching goal of the initiative is to encourage adults to be more inclined to advocate military service to the young people in their lives.

Print advertisements, running in national magazines later this week and throughout the summer, feature veterans from the various military branches. Each ad focuses on the qualities the individual gained as a member of the armed services – qualities including commitment, perseverance, and sense of self and community – and how these characteristics benefit them in their "civilian" professional lives.

Chu points to a September 2002 study by Wirthlin Worldwide that shows adults with a personal experience in the military are more likely to recommend military service. However, 52 percent of the adults in the same study noted their perceptions of the military are formed primarily from television and movies. This helps explain why only 11 percent of adults surveyed mention the military as an option for children after high school.

"Beyond headline news and Hollywood, many adults today – including those who influence young people – have no personal connection to our military," said Chu. "For the long-term future security of our country it is important that we educate American adults about the values and competencies that can be gained through service, thereby increasing their propensity to recommend the military as a career path to the youth they influence," he added.

Another component of the campaign is a major redesign of the Web site www.TodaysMilitary.com – a place where adults can learn more about the value of military service and the many opportunities and career fields available. This site features video interviews of selected campaign spokespeople.

In addition, there is a television public service announcement featuring Valerie Vigoda, a musician and former Lieutenant who served in the U.S. Army National Guard. In the spot Vigoda talks about perseverance and the confidence she gained from being in the military.

Chu noted that the branches of the military have made great investments over the last several years in improving the overall quality of life for servicemembers, including improvements to housing and healthcare, better education for servicemembers’ children, additional leave time and increased compensation. These and similar improvements have allowed the various branches to meet or exceed their annual retention goals

For more information, please contact Ms. Joyce McMahon at (978) 468-8949 or toll-free at (800) 232-4681, extension 8949. Her email address is Joyce.McMahon@mullen.com. She will direct your inquiries to a DoD spokesperson.

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