The U. S. Marine Corps has launched an aggressive new advertising campaign aimed at attracting more
women recruits. It’s a smart move since the all-volunteer Corps is struggling to make its annual quotas. And, while the Corps has accepted women in administrative roles since 1918, it’s only recently begun putting the distaff side in harm’s way.
War being the dirty business that it is, the Corps has to do what the Corps has to do to create awareness and build credibility. But, I must say I find the new ads disingenuous at best.
One, for example, features a very aggressive-looking woman and a headline that reads: “Wanted: leadership that inspires Marines under your command and Americans everywhere."
There’s no doubt that Marine Corps training build confidence, moral and physical strength and, I’m sure, leadership qualities. But, I believe the Corps also needs to let female recruits know what they’re getting themselves into. The current situation in Iraq and Afghanistan shows no sign of letting up, much less improving. So, while the recruits may indeed be leading fellow Marines and inspiring Americans everywhere, they’re also likely to be shipped to an active war zone. And, that’s the rub. I’m just not sure very many prime, 18-year-old prospects understand the grim realities of Baghdad, Falujah and elsewhere. And, I think the U.S. Marine Corps owes our nation’s youth a fully transparent story.
I applaud those who volunteer, but I’d also like women everywhere to realize what they’re signing up for.