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Recruiting Posters, Slogans and Commercials [Merged]


Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
The posters are great!

Hey, I said c‘mon!

The Canadian Forces needs thousands of new recruits to survive. Too bad the great causes (and great posters) of the past seem to be gone forever

James Cudmore
National Post

Any day now, the Canadian Forces will unveil its latest recruiting campaign in a bid to flesh out the ranks in the face of skyrocketing attrition and plummeting morale.

The problem, apparently, is a diminished desire among Canada‘s spiky-haired youth to heed the call to service. Indeed, the Canadian Forces‘ insufficient ability to attract and retain new recruits has already begun to have an effect on operations.

In December, the perennially cash-strapped Canadian navy announced it was forced to take the proud ship HMCS Huron off sea duty due to a pressing lack of sailors to crew her.
At the time, Lieutenant-Commander Chris Henderson, a navy spokesman, said the move was the result of lacklustre recruiting efforts that have left the Pacific fleet with 267 fewer sailors than it requires.

"It‘s something we have to do," he said. "We don‘t have enough people to sail the other ships in our fleet and you end up moving people from ship to ship just to keep the fleet going."

The problem is not limited to the navy: Last year, the 2nd Battalion of the Princess Patricia‘s Canadian Light Infantry lost 90 of its 650 soldiers to attrition. Lieutenant-Colonel Marv Makulowich, commanding officer of the 2nd Battalion, said he is expecting that number to swell to as many as 200 soldiers in the coming year.

In an effort to stave off these defections, the Canadian Forces over the last two years has launched a series of initiatives designed to improve the quality of life for our overworked, underpaid troops and staunch the outward flow of its highly trained soldiers.

It‘s a far cry from the old days, when Canadians took the Queen‘s shilling without a second thought to quality of life -- choosing to serve the nation come what may.
During the Second World War, Canada had more than a million men under arms, and that number was even greater during the First. Today, we have fewer than 60,000.

Obviously, recruits are more likely to sign up when there‘s a well-defined bogeyman (Hitler, Communism) threatening us good guys. The trick is to attract recruits now, in 2001. And so it was with fanfare that the Canadian Forces announced a campaign this year to recruit as many as 7,000 soldiers, sailors and airmen -- a program the Forces admits is critical to its survival.

But in the age of sporting gear advertisements that shout "No fear" and "Just do it," it‘s hard to believe that such slogans as "Working together to build our team" or "Diversity: Your pride, your future, your move" will prove to be the rallying cry our youth will heed.

Gone, it seems, from the recruiting sergeant‘s vocabulary are the military action words that at turns enticed and shamed two generations of young men to risk their lives on the killing fields of Fortress Europe. Gone, too, are the striking images that fired a nation to rally ‘round its flag and offer her sons in its defence.

The historical Canadian recruiting posters shown here stand in stark contrast to the modern crop of recruitment ads. In a current poster (see the bottom right corner of the opposite page), two officers peer through binoculars from the bridge of their ship as an empty sea stretches out behind them. The poster claims there is "Adventure, challenge, career ... as an officer." Another officer is depicted climbing into the cockpit of his CF-18 Hornet jet fighter, as another peers squint-eyed through a sextant.

They are military images, as the streaking, artistically rendered war planes atop the poster attest, but they have nothing on the recruiting posters of wars gone by.

The most striking image on this page -- the one that most caught my eye -- is that of a Second World War soldier rearing on his motor bike as he races up a hill. He is headed, we know, into battle, racing two others on their mechanized steeds to be the first to the punch.
In shadowy background, this soldier‘s military forbearer struggles to control his own rearing mount -- a muscled white war horse -- helm upon his head, shield and lance under one arm, charging forward to join the battle. "Notre Armée: A besoin de bons Canadiens," the poster screams: "Our Army: In need of good Canadians."
A nice slogan would be "Crush, Kill, and Destroy to a Better and Sexier New You!!!"

-the patriot-
Recruiting has always been tough. The Canadian military has always had cash problems, and quality of life has always been an issue. I don‘t think Canadian soldiers ever took the King‘s Shilling without a second though to quality of life. While researching another topic I came across an article in the old Montreal Star, dated 1961. The issue: Canadian reservists getting poorer trg, surplus WW2 uniforms, poor pay, and---get this---diminished prospects for advancement in the "more stable postwar" Canadian Army. They were complaining during the days of fat cold war budgets. It is not something new, apparently. The biggest problem is getting our purpose across to the public. We need to counter the CBC-Macleans image of the Army.
Oh, and my two cents on advertising the Army: They have to make the Army look fun. People join us generally for a few simple reasons. 1) Buddy joins so they join too. Particularily common in times of crisis and war. 2) They want to serve country. 3) They want adventure and to have fun. Alternative to an office job.

THe latest CF commercials featuring tanks, soldiers running around, and a soldier jumping from a Herc are excellent. Make it look fun and they will come. I promise.
I agree. Army ads should show people doing Army stuff.
After their first summer, most who join and stick with it say the Army reserves was MORE fun than they expected. If it were not for word-of-mouth lay recruiters bragging about how fun it is, the Army would be in big trouble.
Another thing iv‘e noticed is that in Army Cadets, almost everybody there that I nkow in my Corp is going to join once they are old enough, so Cadets is another way of recruiting people for the future. (thats why I joined Cadets)
(meanwhile, in Russia ...)

Attracting soldiers defeats Red Army
Exemptions to the Russian draft have slashed the list of eligible conscripts, writes Craig Nelson in Moscow.

As triumphant placards are hoisted throughout Moscow in preparation for celebrations this week marking the anniversary of the allied victory in Europe in World War II, the once-vaunted Red Army is clamouring for men to fill its ranks.

President Vladimir Putin and his Defence Minister, Mr Sergei Ivanov, have vowed to shrink the military and create an all-professional army. Still, the dreaded draft continues and military officials are complaining publicly for the first time that they do not have enough men.

"Today we cannot call up as many people as the armed forces need ... Soon there will be no-one we can call up," Mr Vladislav Putilin, the deputy army chief of staff, recently complained.

It is an almost unheard of sentiment in a country that lost an estimated 25 million people in World War II and rates its glorious military past and ferocious display of patriotism against Nazi invaders as its chief national virtues.

The manpower crunch comes as the Kremlin bludgeons ahead with its anti-separatist war in the southern republic of Chechnya and girds friendly governments in Central Asia against alleged threats from radical Islamic rebels.

In Tajikistan, Moscow is establishing a military base and stationing 12,000 Russian troops to patrol the border with Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, which it claims funds the insurgents.

The prospect of assignment to either perilous backwater preyed on the minds of 19-year-old Mr Valentin Ivanov and his family and friends as they gathered in a scruffy working-class district in south-eastern Moscow to bid him goodbye on a recent early Thursday morning. They suppressed their fears with revelry until the last of many parting toasts.

"To your health," they chanted, clinking their beer bottles in salute to the red-eyed Mr Ivanov. "To your return," they chanted and clinked again. Then a pause and a single utterance: "To your return alive."

Within minutes, a bus carrying Mr Ivanov and a mere four other conscripts pulled out of a driveway adjacent to a 500-seat football pitch and merged into the morning rush-hour traffic, bound for a central processing centre in central Moscow. During Soviet rule, up to 3,000 men from the same Lyublino district entered the armed forces each year.

All Russian men between 18 and 27 are eligible for the draft and are required to serve at least two years, but liberal student exemptions in response to widespread loathing of military service, along with claims of disabilities, have reduced the pool of eligible conscripts, who make up 70 per cent of Russia‘s 1.2 million-man armed forces.

Mr Putin has ordered the call-up of 189,995 conscripts in this spring‘s draft, sharply down from the 350,00 to 400,000 of recent drafts. Military officials worry that even that goal will not be met.

The divide separating Mr Ivanov from the throngs of eligible draft-age men avoiding military service is not health or education. It is money.

Mr Ivanov‘s mother, Galina, applauded those parents who could bribe doctors or draft officials for exemptions, but she said her family lived on a combined pension of $173 a month and could not afford it for Valentin, the last of her four sons who has been drafted.

Mrs Ivanov put the going rate for an exemption at $580. Ms Natalya Shvol, of the Committee of Soldiers‘ Mothers, says the cost runs as high as $9,600.

Bribery is common even after induction. Valya, a 41-year-old maid, said she turned over her savings of nearly $2,000 to a local draft official two years ago in exchange for the promise her son would be stationed in Moscow instead of Chechnya. The pledge was met.

For parents who can afford the pay-offs, avoiding military service is worth any price, for on a hierarchy of the downtrodden, no-one would have possibly greater claim to the top rung than the Russian conscript.

Equipment was pitiable and hunger routine, former soldier Mr Maxim Sakhalov said. And although it is regarded as an honoured tradition by many soldiers such as Mr Sakhalov, bastardisation is a "terrible scourge", said Ms Vorobyova Fyodorovna of the mothers‘ committee, citing the recent case of a conscript who twice required surgery following a beating by a junior officer.

According to Ms Fyodorovna, the army‘s official report said the young man had fallen out of a second-floor window.

If any further discouragement to service in Chechnya were needed besides the estimated 3,000 troops who have been killed and 5,000 wounded there since war resumed in August 1999, it came in May, when the daily allowance for conscripts was reduced from $54 to less than $4 and reductions in their length of military service for fighting in the republic were eliminated.

Efforts by authorities to round up draft dodgers have come to little. Police and the military prosecutor‘s office in Moscow admit they are reluctant to bring cases to trial.
In terms of positive press coverage, and its value to recruiting, I thought this article was valuable - hope you agree:Highlanders‘ sense of duty is unreserved
Ceremonies to mark 110 years of proud service
Paul Irish

Three members of the 48th Highlanders Master Cpl. Sean Westrop, left, Highlander Ashley Doyle and Master Cpl. Peter Stibbard.
They‘ve been serving our country with pride through three centuries.

From the Boer War in South Africa to peacekeeping duties in Yugoslavia, the 48th Highlanders have participated in every Canadian military campaign with exception of the Gulf War.

And tomorrow, in recognition of the reserve unit‘s 110th anniversary, 400 current and former members will celebrate with full Scottish Highland pageantry, including the skirl of bagpipes.

``It should be a wonderful day,‘‘ said Capt. Steve Tibbetts, of the Highlanders. ``The unit has a definite spot in Toronto and Canadian history.‘‘

`The unit has a spot in Toronto and Canadian history‘

The public will be treated to a short parade that starts at 10 a.m. at the Moss Park Armoury and proceeds west along Queen St. to Nathan Phillips Square where, at 11 a.m., the unit will be given the freedom of the city by Councillor Chris Korwin-Kuczynski and other dignitaries.

At noon, the parade will return to the armoury along the same route. Members of the regiment past and present and friends will gather for a reception at the St. Andrew‘s Presbyterian Church, where they will meet a delegation from Apeldoorn, Holland.

``The Highlanders helped liberate the town in the Second World War,‘‘ said Tibbetts.

``It‘s a very significant point in the regiment‘s history.‘‘

Capt. John Hill, 33, a Toronto businessman, said he‘s proud to be a Highlander and he‘s looking forward to the celebration.

``We‘re part of the past, the present and we‘ll be busy in the future,‘‘ he said. ``We‘re an important fixture in the city.‘‘

Master Cpl. Sean Westrop said the regiment has proven itself in battle as well as peacetime.

The Highlanders‘ men and women were happy to help dig the city out of the snow three winters ago, he said.

Master Cpl. Peter Stibbard said there aren‘t many jobs that allow you to rappel out of helicopters, so the Highlanders is the ``right spot‘‘ to be.

Highlander Ashley Doyle said the regiment will travel anywhere in Canada where it‘s needed and said he‘s proud the unit was able to help during the Manitoba floods a few years back.

Formed in Toronto in 1891, the regiment adopted the Davidson tartan and the falcon head as its crest.

The first action for the 48th Highlanders, whose home station is at Moss Park, took place in South Africa during the Boer War when the regiment sent more than 116 soldiers to augment the Royal Canadian Regiment in 1899.

They were mobilized again for World War I, and departed for England in September, 1914, as the 15th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. During the war, the regiment was involved in every major action including Ypres, the Somme, Vimy and Passchendaele, but paid heavily with the death of 1,473 men.

During World War II, the regiment was mobilized again and sent to England as part of the first contingent that left Canada in 1939. It later won battle honours in Italy and liberated Apeldoorn in its last action of the war.

The Highlanders were on active duty in Korea and also served on peacekeeping missions in Cyprus, the Middle East, Somalia and the former Yugoslavia.

Closer to home, the regiment is known for its pipe and drum marching band, which has played all over Canada and in international competitions.

The band is a regular feature of Toronto‘s annual Santa Claus parade and for years christened every hockey season by marching out on the ice at Maple Leaf Gardens, a tradition that has continued at the Air Canada Centre.

``Everyone knows about the band. They‘re great,‘‘ said Hill. ``And they‘ll be at it again tomorrow.‘‘
my friend brought the article to me today an said "are these the kilt-landers ur always talkin about?"
after i smacked him for saying "kilt-landers"
i convinced him that the army isnt all that bad.
that article‘s deffinately going up on my locker wall.
It‘s hard to recruit people and keep them in times of a strong economy. Couple that with the indifference shown the military by the government and the constant negative reports/lack of possitive stories in the press and it makes a very hard sell to the youth of today. How long is the press going to remind us about Somolia while forgetting the rescue by us and the Brits of the people at the Drin Hospital in B-H (or the other thousands of examples of a job well done at home and abroad). The press certianly influances public opinion. Maybe it‘s a Canadian thing that we seem to down play our accomplishments and exagrate our failings.
Excellent points, A.R.G.!!!
I‘ve said several times that recruits are being driven away by the "self-fulfilling prophecy" of the "brass" (i.e. harping continually about how Neanderthal behaviour is unacceptable ... duh ... or how the CF has no future inasmuch as the budget is shrinking while costs continue to increase).

On this topic, I came across a quote I liked:

"When a military spirit forsakes a people, the profession of arms immediately ceases to be held in honour, and military men fall to the lowest rank of public servants; they are little esteemed and no longer understood. ... Hence arises a circle of cause and consequence from which it is difficult to escape: the best part of the nation shuns the military profession because the profession is not honoured, and the profession is not honoured because the best part of the nation has ceased to folow it."
Alexis de Tocqueville
:cool: Just a couple of quotes that I thought might fit here somewhere;

He will win who has the military capacity and is not interfered with by the sovereign. -Sun Tzu-

Well it‘s Tommy this, and Tommy that,
And chuck ‘im out the brute,
But it‘s saviour of the country,
When the guns begin to shoot.

Happy Victoria day all! :D
I guess that we need another boogyman. I think, though, that the "grass roots" in Canada apreciates the military and what we do.

Recceguy: You must know every peom that mentions the "Brute".
Just my 2 cents:

I think that the biggest resource for recruiters is the University/College populace. I know for a fact that these places are full of people looking for purpose, challenge, danger- anything they are lacking after 12 or more years of school. I myself am one. I don‘t think that recruiting in the highschool crowd is as effective as it used to be, because secondary-education is much more reachable that it once was. Most highschool kids see the military as limiting their options, in a world that offers endless possiblities. The military has to change with the times and shift it‘s focus. I‘ve yet to see any active recruitment at the university I attend, despite having been there for 10 months. I public recruiting booth, or a presentation in the caffeteria (done on a regular basis by other groups) would go a long a ways, especially if the recruiters read what is below...

Here‘s what I have to say. As a university student considering joining, I‘m right smack in the middle of the recruiting propaganda. Which is to say I‘m right smack in the middle of nothing.

From the perspective of the university student, the biggest thing holding me back is a complete lack of pertinent information regarding the future. University students are concerned about their futures, and how joining the military will affect their futures. How does military service on my resume affect potential employers? Why aren‘t there more success stories about how the CF helped Joe and Jane get a great job by giving them leadership, confidence, teamwork, etc. Why isn‘t the industry actively seeking people with military experience, even though the coporate world is turning more and more to ‘boot camp‘ style training to teach their employees teamwork and leadership? In a world starved for people with degrees, offering them secure and comfortable future, the military if falling behind. Answers to these types of questions would mean a lot to today‘s career-oriented students.

If university students were confident that joining the military would be beneficial to their careers and teach them valuable skills for the future, the military would have no trouble swelling it‘s ranks. My university is full of people desperately seeking out the military experience. There are any number of clubs revolving around pseudo-militarism. The Airsoft club is probably the most realistic. But you can‘t walk down a hallway without seeing a poster offering "Rapid Assault Tatics" training or "Weekend Warrior" trips. University students hunger for release, adventure, danger... but they also want security for their futures, and will avidly avoid anything they think may harm their future. This includes everything that doesn‘t make it blatantly obvious that it is a good choice for the future. The military should make information and real-life examples more visible.

There is also a distinct lack of another type of information. The nitty-gritty stuff that you have to actively seek out a recruiter for, and in my opinion, shouldn‘t have to. How long do you have to sign on for? What kind of obligority service? Can I be sent to war? Will I be sent accross the country without any say? What happens if I‘m hurt during training? Can I get out if I need to? How do I get promoted? How dangerous is it? What kind of law does the military subject me to? How will it affect my family life? What happens if I get pregnent? What kind of benifits and insurance? Do I have to pay for any equipment? What if I loose stuff? How much information does the military collect about me? Who has access to it? What happens when I quit? Will the government still call me up to go to war? Do the different branches have different answers to these questions?

If some of this info was made up front and easy to access, students would be alot more comfortable about seeing a recruiter. We are older than the Highschool crowd, and thus not so willing to jump in without knowing what we‘re getting into. I myself have been actively searching for answers to questions like these for months, and having to read all manner of things like the QR&O and CFAO to find answers. Having to do this is not what I call easy to access information. There are probably enlisted people who haven‘t read through those things. Most students won‘t waste their time. Hey, if they don‘t want to say it out loud, it can‘t be good. And that‘s the end of it. The military has to be more open and active about their recruiting if they want more people.

The next problem is image, especially among middle and upper classes where the bulk of university students come from. The general view is that the military is out dated, and full of social deviants, people who can‘t think for them selves, and a bunch of hardcore gun nuts. As much as I hate to say it, the Americans have the image thing down pat. If the CF wants to learn a little about recruiting, they could do worse than look at a nation whose standing army is larger than the population of some countries. Although, even the Yanks are starting to have recruiting problems. But the fact it, the CF‘s image has to change.

If you want to know what draws the people I‘ve talked to, the military image that they like, it‘s the image of themselves in fatigues and combat boots, holding a rifle. Wearing the beret, rappeling out of helo‘s, throwing Ka-Bars and handgrenades, and generally blowing **** up. Not really what it‘s all about, but then again, who has more fans: Hollywood or the CF? If the CF needs people so bad, they should play to them. Show people themselves as they could be in the military, a Rambo in each and every person. Make people think they can be bad-*** , show ‘em what they want to see and you‘ll bring a few in. People like to think of themselves as adventerous, daring, and courageous. Especially us middle-class suburbanites who were raised on a steady diet of Hollywood heroism. If the CF capitalized a little on these self images, they might generate a little more interest, and in doing so, help their image.

And lastly, a personal concern as well as one voiced by many others, is the quality of training. The military (the politicians?) have got to respect the fact that, even if there is no war right now, the men and women that sign on, do so knowing that their signature may well put them into combat. And people die in combat. I‘m growing concerned about whether or not the military is going to provide the training I need to survive & thrive in combat, or whether it is just going to give me an illusion of soldier skill that will get me killed. I felt sick when I read about this 16 day basic. What can you learn in 16 days !? I thought basic was a couple of months, and a grueling, intensive crashcourse in combat survival, not a few days of Boyscouts. And since I‘m looking at infantry, which puts my *** in the grass, it concerns me even more. And then I read about old/obselete equipment, too few feild exercises, little or no live firing, etc. etc. etc. And it all makes me wonder what I want to sign on for. I‘ve no qualms about going into combat, so long as I know I‘ve had the proper training. I have a big problem going into combat wondering if I‘ve had the proper training.

But this, I think, is more a Government problem than a military one. The Government seems to have forgotten that the military is central to it‘s existence, and that the military is the protector of the people from which the Gov. draws it‘s power. The military could use more funding, but only if the military is ready to put those funds to good use. The Americans have shown that throwing more money at the military won‘t neccessarily fix the problems. But better pay and allowances, comparable to civilian jobs, would go a long a way towards bolstering the ranks. Throw in meaningful and realistic training, and perhaps a few toys to play with, and you‘ve got a bigger, happier, more robust CF.

I could go on and on, but it‘s late. Feel free to post your opinions on what I‘ve said. Note that everything I‘ve said is personal opinion based of months of more or less fruitless research into what the CF is all about, and what happens to me when I sign the dotted line. So, none of it is hard and true fact, and most of it is pure conjecture. I welcome any and all comments.

Hope you enjoyed the read,

I find that it doesn‘t matter what major profession it is these days.... Alot of current teachers, doctors, and nurses when asked by the wide-eyed youth of today of a future in their respectable professions......... they say "DON‘T EVER DO IT!!! THE GOVERNMENT IS *&%#@!" So I guess the military is going through the same thing. What do we do? Tell all the baby-boomers to shut up?! Actually that might help.... With that new tuition coverage for university students, I guess that may help get numbers go back up for all the units concerned. For those that are not aware, very recently a new plan was put out for reservists regardless of rank. How this works is that as long as you are a trained troop, you will be able to have the Army pay half of your university tuition. I find that this will help greatly in attracting more youth to the military and also act as a retaining tool to stem the exodus of soldiers to the private sector.

-the patriot- :cdn:
"I thought basic was a couple of months, and a grueling, intensive crashcourse in combat survival"

Basic is where you learn the "basics" common to the army, navy, airforce. You‘re not taught any tactics or survival stuff, that‘s all taught in your trades training. At basic you learn drill, ranks, basic weapons handling (c7, c9), etc.

As for it being grueling, hardly any western militaries still have hard basic training (with the exception of p-company for the Paras or the FFL basic/battleschool). If they did they‘d weed out many people, which isn‘t good when you can‘t even recruit enough people to fill the ranks in the first place (not saying I support this lax attitude though).
What your saying appears to be right on the surface. But your missing something.
Basic training, especially for the army, is not only about basic military skills. It is about tearing down a life of soft civilian habits and rebuilding the recruit as a disciplined member of a team that is able to kill another human being.
Especially in these Gen-X days, the recruits initial training is essential to eradicate the selfish I-me-my additude that makes many recruits whine when faced with long marches, PT, and sleep-deprivation and hunger. These are common for the soldier in the battlefield.
What basic training should seek to put out is not people who can handle basic military skills, but disciplined soldiers who can be expected to get the job done regardless of what is thrown at them.
With an 18 day basic training, I am not sure that this is what is being put out. I am not sure that todays soldier can face a battlefield, if they only have to wear webbing on a march, and if they can‘t complete that march, but pass anyway. I am not sure if I want to share a foxhole with someone who is bothered when they are called a ****bag, or feels harrassed when they are forced to do basic calisthenics.
There is alot of good soldiers today who are personally motivated and can see through the bull**** and soldier on. But I think the decline in Basic training standards is letting alot of recruits who could be good soldiers get by being sub-par soldiers, and alot of ****bags be soldiers who shouldn‘t be at all.
It‘ll probably come to the point where that new Military Cemetary is filled up with Canadian youth before Ottawa figures out that weak Basic Training is NOT good for the recruits, the army, or the nation.
<end rant>
And as for Western militaries not having gruelling basic training.
I think Cree Warrior has the authority to talk about that (Three Suicides?).
The U.S. Marine Corps is very effective in holding off the PC police. But I think even their standards have fallen in the last few years. (If any Jarheads feel I am wrong, correct me.)