The British Army is promoting posters and television adverts aimed at the younger generation in a new recruitment drive.
The poster designs hark from Lord Kitchener’s ‘Our Country Needs You’ World War One posters.
However, the refreshed prints target the younger generation of ‘Millennials’ and ‘Generation Z’, including “snowflakes”, “phone zombies” and “selfie addicts”.
The Army claims this is to undercut and dispel national stereotypes, by highlighting the strengths of young people. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) claims that 72% of young people feel undervalued in their current occupations.
The works are a part of the Army’s ‘This is Belonging’ campaign, which aims to make younger people feel more appreciated.
The Army highlights the nationally-perceived negative characteristics of young people and claims them as positives. For example, gaming addicts are seen as having high levels of confidence and self-motivation, and ‘me-me Millennials’ are seen to have high self-belief.
Aforementioned ‘phone addicts’ are praised for their focus capacity, and ‘snowflakes’ for their compassion.
Head of Army recruitment, Major General Paul Nanson, claims that the army “sees people differently and we are proud to look beyond the stereotypes”.
Why the Recruitment Drive Now?
The push comes after multiple reports from government agencies, stating that the Army is underfunded and understaffed.
A report from the Ministry of Defence, discovered that the Army is struggling for numbers. Just 12,130 people joined the UK Regular Armed forces between October 1st and September 30th, a decrease of 1.2% on the previous year. However, less people left the forces. The overall strength of the UK Forces Personnel also decreased by 1.8% in the same year.
The National Audit Office also found that the Army is understaffed in critical areas such as intelligence and engineering. The Office found that the Army had failed to meet annual recruitment targets for new soldiers and officers in every year since 2013. This was exacerbated by the fact the online recruitment system went online 52 months later than expected, a system outsourced to Capita.
Government statistics measure a total decline of 3.1% in staff. The requirement of 83,500 soldiers has not been met, with actual numbers of around 79,640.