Uncle Sam Wants You To Be 'An Army of One'

W A S H I N G T O N, Jan. 10, 2001 -- The Army is dropping its nearly two-decade-old“Be all you can be” slogan as part of $150 million advertisingcampaign aimed at recruiting a new generation of soldiers.

The new slogan, “An Army of one,” was created by theChicago-based advertising agency Leo Burnett, which was hired bythe Army last summer in hopes of improving its pitch to potentialrecruits.

New Ad to Premier During Friends, Simpsons, Buffy

The new campaign will premiere during the NBC sitcom Friendson Thursday night, The New York Times and USA Today reported in today’s editions.

The 60-second ad will also appear during “The Simpsons” on Foxand “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” on the WB network. The theme is inresponse to research that shows young people view military life asdehumanizing.

The ad features a lone corporal running across the endless sandsof the Mojave Desert at dawn. At one point, a squad of soldiersruns past in the opposite direction. Later, a helicopter fliesoverhead. Alone, the corporal continues to run.

Then a voice cuts in.

“Even though there are 1,045,690 soldiers just like me, I am myown force,” says the corporal, Richard P. Lovett. “Withtechnology, with training, with support, who I am has become betterthan who I was.”

“And I’ll be the first to tell you, the might of the U.S. Armydoesn’t lie in numbers — It lies in me. I am an Army of one,” hesays.

20-Year-Old Slogan

The popular “Be all you can be” slogan dates to 1981. LouisCaldera, the departing secretary of the Army, told the Times thatthe new slogan represents a change in the way the Army thinks aboutrecruiting.

“They are going to get the ethic of selfless service, duty,honor and country in basic training and in every unit they areassigned to,” Caldera said. “But you’ve got to get them in thedoor to try selfless service. And you’ve got to let them know thateven though it is about selfless service, they are stillindividuals.”

Leo Burnett is developing new ads with two minority partners:Cartel Creativo, which specializes in Hispanic advertising, andImages USA, which specializes in marketing to blacks.

Leo Burnett’s other clients include McDonald’s, Coca-Cola andNintendo.