In but the latest sign the British Army is failing to meet recruitment numbers as it's reeling from the UK's worst troop shortage since 2010, and following a new law opening army ranks to foreign nationals of Commonwealth countries, a new series of recruitment posters is calling on “snowflakes, selfie addicts, class clowns, phone zombies, and me, me, millennials” to sign up as part of a gimmicky new recruitment drive targeting young people.
The television and poster campaign is titled "Your Army Needs You" and attempts to tap into both millenials' and Gen Z'ers “need for a bigger sense of purpose”, according to a statement by Maj Gen Paul Nanson.
Mostly the adds target Generation Z, which is generally defined as encompassing 16 to 25-year-olds and invites them to have the "compassion" of snowflakes and the "confidence" of selfie takers, among other slogans.
The recruitment add layout is historically inspired of the "Your Country Needs You" World War I posters featuring Field Marshal Lord Kitchener, but with contemporary "inclusive" themes. This after a year ago the army was accused of bowing to political correctness after launching a prior campaign to aim for greater "diversity" in the ranks, including in the area of gender, sexuality, ethnicity and faith — though we have no idea how either inclusivity or recruiting "snowflakes" helps with war preparedness.
One British military official, Maj Gen Paul Nanson, told The Guardian: “The army sees people differently and we are proud to look beyond the stereotypes and spot the potential in young people, from compassion to self-belief.”
And defence secretary, Gavin Williamson, described the new recruitment advertising “a powerful call to action that appeals to those seeking to make a difference as part of an innovative and inclusive team”.
But the campaign actually reeks of desperation, as a recent National Audit Office report (an independent government watchdog group) from last year found the armed forces are short of 8,200 soldiers, sailors and air personnel, out of a total combined forces number approaching 150,000. The NAO said that it found the army was undergoing the worst shortage since 2010.
The shortage comes as both Russia and the West are increasingly ramping up military exercises and mutual "shows of force" in the northern European region, though we can only imagine what the pundits would say if it were Russia engaging in a public campaign to recruit snowflakes, binge gamers, and selfie-addicts.