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Army brings back ‘Be all you can be’ slogan amid recruiting crisis

A photo of military boots during the deployment ceremony for the Alabama Army National Guard 128th Military Police Company leaving for Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (Bob Gathany/HVT/TNS)
January 09, 2023

Amid the Army’s historic ongoing recruiting crisis, the Army Enterprise Marketing Office has decided to reboot its former “Be all you can be” slogan in a look reminiscent of the 80s. The famous slogan first appeared during the 1981 New Year’s College Football bowl games. The slogan is set to launch in March of this year and is being praised as a step in the right direction to better meet recruitment numbers. 

Maj. Gen. Alex Fink, the Army Reserve Officer in charge of the Army Enterprise Marketing Office, told Stars & Stripes, “[The Army is] not returning to ‘Be all you can be’ for nostalgia or old times’ sake or because we think retro is trendy and cool. We’re really reinventing it to reposition the Army and to inspire the next generation of soldiers.”

While boosting recruitment numbers was the stated purpose of the reboot, the reboot will surely bring about a feeling of nostalgia from decades prior. According to the Army Historical Foundation, “Trade magazine ‘Advertising Age’ rated the slogan the 18th best of its ‘top one hundred campaigns of the 20th Century.'”

The General told Army Times in August that prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Army had already initiated a revamp of its marketing for recruitment purposes.

According to Fink, “You couldn’t just start from ground zero and say, ‘Hey, let’s just do a brand refresh on the Army,’ with no route, no real repetitions under your belt,”…We have those repetitions now. And I think we’re in a really good place, and I think it’s the right time.”