Enlisting Masculinity: The Construction of Gender in U.S. Military Recruiting Advertising during the All-Volunteer Force

By Melissa T. Brown | Go to book overview

NOTES

CHAPTER 1

1. By “feminist,” I mean both the academic literature that uses gender as a category of analysis and the academic and nonacademic literature that seeks to improve the lives of women and, in some cases, to expand the opportunities for women in the military.

2. Technically, the Marine Corps is a part of the Navy and not a separate branch of the armed forces. However, the Marine Corps recruits as a separate branch, and so it will be treated as one for the purposes of this study.

3. The concept of masculinity is defined and discussed in chapter 2.

4. I sometimes use the term soldier in a generic sense to apply to members of all of the service branches—to sailors, Marines, and airmen, as well as Army soldiers.

5. Chapter 2 continues the discussion of the ties between the military and the nation in the United States in relation to citizenship. More broadly, however, since the American and French revolutions and Napoleon’s development of the mass army, wars could be fought by national armies in the name of the people. As a result, “the male soldier hero is one of the main symbols of the nation” (Dudink 2002, 153). Also, see Hagemann (1997) on the forging of the link between the nation and its military.

6. For instance, the “Army of One” campaign emphasized the soldier as an individual, even though the Army depends on unit cohesion and teamwork. The Army wanted to recruit a young demographic that—based on other representations of Army life—feared it would lose its individuality in the Army (Dao 2001). The Army needed to counter those fears before it could sell potential recruits on Army life.

7. One potential question in examining recruitment materials is whether we can think of the ads as being created by the military branches or whether the images in the ads are dreamed up by civilians without much connection to and possibly even in opposition to the military officers and the service cultures. While Department of Defense civilians and advertisers play a large role in military recruiting, their influence shouldn’t be overestimated. There seems to be both cooperation and struggle among the Pentagon, the branches, the advertising agencies, and even, occasionally, Congress, about the image of each service. At the beginning of the AVF, when the branches were less experienced with recruiting, I think the civilians were more likely to win the battles, but since then, the branches have gotten savvier. For instance, when Gen. Charles Krulak became commandant of the Marine Corps in 1995, he decided to pull all advertising and reshape the Corps’ message based on his reading of the Pentagon’s polling of young people (Freedberg 1999).

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Enlisting Masculinity: The Construction of Gender in U.S. Military Recruiting Advertising during the All-Volunteer Force
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • List of Illustrations and Tables vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Chapter 1- Introduction 3
  • Chapter 2- Concepts and Context - Masculinity, Citizenship, and the Creation of the All-Volunteer Force 18
  • Chapter 3- The Army 41
  • Chapter 4- The Navy 74
  • Chapter 5- The Marine Corps 104
  • Chapter 6- The Air Force 130
  • Chapter 7- Recruiting a Volunteer Force in Wartime 158
  • Chapter 8- Conclusion 178
  • Appendix 187
  • Notes 195
  • Bibliography 205
  • Index 215
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