It's no secret the Army has had a tough time recruiting young Americans into its ranks. In fact, the service missed its fiscal year 2022 recruiting goal by 25%, or 15,000 soldiers. To attract more recruits, the Army revamped its recruiting campaign by resurrecting the classic "Be All You Can Be" slogan and rebranding with a new logo. Moreover, 2022's controversial commercials were pulled. The new ad campaign was launched with a cinematic starring Jonathan Majors who starred in 2023's most successful films, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and Creed III.
The Army's 2022 series of commercials had a cartoonish style and attempted to appeal to a wider audience by focusing on diversity and career skills. These ads were met with ridicule and criticism, especially when compared to the Marine Corps' commercials which featured advanced technology and near-future warfare. Changing gears, the Army's latest commercial highlights its history and strength. In the uncut ad, Majors walks the audience through different chapters of Army history from the Revolutionary War to the modern day.
Beyond the history lesson, the new commercial includes a call to action. In fact, its title is "Overcoming Obstacles." "The #USArmy made history by overcoming the insurmountable, honing its wisdom, courage, and strength to prevail over impossible obstacles," the video's description reads. "When your future throws them your way, will you see them as obstacles? Or as #possibilities?"
Beyond the battlefield, the commercial highlights the Army's history of surveying and engineering, humanitarian aid, and even football. It emphasizes the Army's mission to deploy, fight and win the nation's wars, but also notes the positive effect that serving in its ranks has on its soldiers and the country as a whole.
As the U.S. military transitions from counter-insurgency operations to near-peer, large-scale warfare, the recruiting mission and tone have also changed. This latest Army ad campaign and launch commercial are indicative of the service's pivot towards this focus. In showcasing its history, the Army challenges the next generation to overcome future obstacles and be a part of its next chapter.