The slogans of the US Army have changed throughout the history of the service branch. In World War I, the “I Want YOU for the US Army” poster with Uncle Sam was plastered all over towns and recruiting stations. In the 1980s and 1990s, the phrase “Be All You Can Be” was synonymous with the U.S. Army. The early 2000s saw the “Army of One” slogan and “Army Strong.” Most recently, it was “Warriors Wanted.” As in the circle of fashion with the return of bell bottoms in the 2000s, the return of the Army slogan “Be All You Can Be” is here.
Maj. General Alex Fink told a major news outlet that “We are reinventing ‘Be All You Can Be’ for Generation Z.” Per the Army release, she said further, “Serving our nation is a calling, and one that is fundamentally hopeful. We want a new generation of Americans to see the Army as a pathway to the lives and careers they want to achieve.”
The move to revamp the old slogan came after multiyear research was conducted. The Army star remains, but with the box removed to “reflect the limitless possibilities in the Army.” The change in logo and slogan is a full change in their recruiting brand. They have changed the font and color palate along with motion graphics and a change in photography.
Maj. Gen. Alex Fink, Chief of Army Enterprise Marketing, said within the release that “We know youth seek purpose, passion, community, and connection, but we also know many don’t recognize the Army’s ability to deliver on those needs. We need a brand that effectively communicates the possibilities of Army service.”
To appeal to Generation Z, two films made for recruitment are narrated by Emmy and Critics’ Choice Award-nominated actor Jonathan Majors, star of “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.” The films focus on the history of the Army and the options for serving in the Army. The films will be shown during the 2023 NCAA March Madness tournament and be paired with print ads, streaming video, and ads on social media.
Is this the right way to go?
On the one hand, the adults of this age grew up with Mister Rogers’s Neighborhood and loved when Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood was both a reminiscence of this and added a new element. Will that be the same for the reinvention of the Army slogan? These adults cannot join the Army as the oldest you can be to enlist in active duty in the Army is 35, but perhaps they will be understanding and sympathetic to their children joining. Will it be appealing to Generation Z? That remains to be seen. The goal of the Army is that the slogan will lead the recruits to look within themselves to determine what their personal goals are and if the Army can bring them there.