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The Army is bringing back ‘Be All You Can Be!’

Miguel Ortiz Avatar

To reinvigorate its recruiting efforts, the Army brought back its classic slogan from the 80s and 90s (U.S. Army)

America is supporting a war against Russia, Top Gun smashed box office records, and the U.S. Army is recruiting with “Be All You Can Be!” Sound familiar? Well the year isn’t 1986; it’s 2023. The Army, amongst other military branches, is having a tough time meeting recruiting goals. To address this, the service is implementing a new recruiting campaign complete with a new logo and a throwback slogan.

army recruiting be all you can be
The Army’s latest recruiting campaign includes a new logo and an old slogan (U.S. Army)

One of the Army’s most successful slogans, “Be All You Can Be!” defined the service during the 1980s and 1990s. It was even referenced by Ewan McGregor as Spc. Grimes in Black Hawk Down. Hoping that lightning can strike twice, the Army resurrected the slogan with the premiere of the new Army brand on March 8, 2023.

“It’s a pretty tough recruiting landscape right now,” Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth told WATM. “We need to reintroduce the Army to America.” She noted that the Army hopes to do this with the new recruiting campaign. “A lot of what we need to do is advertise more. [Be All You Can Be] was very popular.” The throwback slogan also highlights a significant evolution in U.S. military history.

old army be all you can be
“Be All You Can Be” was used in the 1980s and 1990s (U.S. Army)

On January 27, 2023, Secretary of Defense Melvin R. Laird announced that the military’s ranks would be made entirely of volunteers, ending over 30 years of military conscription. Marking the 50th anniversary of the all-volunteer force, Army leaders aim to revive the interest of young Americans in military service.

To make service more attractive, Secretary Wormuth noted that certain recruiting incentives are being implemented. “We’re letting people choose their first duty station,” she said. “We’re also giving Quick Ship Bonuses for people who are willing to move quickly through basic training and go right off to their first assignment.”

new army be all you can be
What’s old is new again (U.S. Army)

For young Americans who already have an interest in service but don’t quite meet the Army’s standards, the Future Soldier Preparatory Course can help prepare them physically or academically for basic training. “It’s a course that gives people extra academic tutoring to help them pass the [ASVAB] and we do a lot of special physical fitness training so that people can meet our standards,” Secretary Wormuth said. “Early results from the program are really good. What we’re trying to do is invest in young Americans who want to serve the Army.” The pilot program was implemented at Fort Jackson, South Carolina and is planned to expand to Fort Benning, Georgia.