Marines, long regarded the tough guy fighting force of the United States - the branch above politically correct reproach, the one able to withstand the progressive onslaughts that have permeated America's military in recent years - have a new, tailor-made message for millennials. And it's a bit on the softy side.
"Battles Won" is a new campaign from the Corps that includes television ads and online promotional spots showing Marines engaged in activities that aren't exactly hard-core in nature. Rather, they're shown unloading "Toys for Tots" boxes and tackling a convenience store robber.
Well and good - except America's druthers should put Marines on the battlefield, taking out Islamic enemies, shooting up terrorist hot spots, downing armed drones and such.
Passing out toys to kids isn't exactly an image that sends shivers up the spines of anti-American forces.
America has already given Iran a gold mine of propaganda material with its Islamic Revolutionary Guards' capture in 2016 of 10 U.S. sailors. The subsequent photographs of defeated-looking Americans are still being used by Iran to show a weakened United States. Heck, Tehran blew up one particularly egregious shot of Americans on their knees, cowed and cowardly looking, to billboard size and posted it in a heavily trafficked area for all to gawk.
And let's not forget: We always have photos of Barack Obama, our illustrious leader, on vacation in sandals. What a picture of strength - of leadership. Particularly when put in a side-by-side next to Russia's Vladimir Putin, bare-chested and fit, atop a horse. Some things can never be overcome, no matter how hard you try.
But et tu, Marines?
Et tu to the weak image?
The Marine Corps said it's been working on a new advertising campaign for months, aimed at bolstering recruitment, especially among women. And the Corps denies the ad spots have anything to do with going after a certain age group - the millennials. But let's be real. Millennials make up a good portion of the segment of population of recruiting age. If not this snowflake demographic, what else?
The Corps is also mulling a new tagline. The current one - "The Few. The Proud. The Marines" - has been in effect since the 1970s and has served the Corps well, helping etch the branch's elitist underpinnings into the minds of Americans, and dare say, other nations' militaries, both friendly and hostile to the United States.
But that was then.
Today's millennials' reality is now - and that means the Marines, just like U.S. employers, have to find a way to get the snowflake generation out of mama's basement and into the Real World. Employers have it easier; new video games, after all, are expensive.
Their tough-as-nails image doesn't exactly jibe. So apparently, concessions must be made; recruitment numbers must be met.
"It focuses on what we believe is the irreducible essence of a Marine, which is the fighting spirit," said Lt. Col. John Caldwell, assistant chief of staff, marketing and public affairs at the marine Corps Recruiting Command, of the "Battles Won" slogan, to Fox News.
Maybe. But it doesn't really back that message with a powerful ad punch.
Rather, it suggests Marines are tough - but they're also soft. And selling the soft side, even if it's what the snowflakes in America want to hear, isn't exactly smart national security strategy. It simply sets the stage for America's enemies to tap into another propaganda tool to paint our hardest-charging, our fiercest-fighting, as unprepared for the realities of actual battle. Plus, it just looks un-Marine.