A new report reveals the United States Army has delisted “The Calling” on YouTube amid continued recruiting shortfalls. The controversial 2021 advertising campaign featured an LGBTQ+ recruitment video of a soldier with two moms.
According to Military.com, the Army delisted “The Calling” from its YouTube channel last week. While delisting a video on YouTube does not delete the video, it prevents the video from being listed on the platform’s search results and recommendations. However, users can still access the video with the original video link.
Addressing the reason behind the delisting of the advertisement videos, Laura DeFrancisco, an Army marketing spokesperson, told Military.com that the music rights for the advertisement campaign were expiring.
Military.com reported that the Army’s 2021 video advertisements, including an ad called “Emma” featuring a soldier raised by two lesbian women, were released in an attempt by the U.S. military under President Joe Biden’s administration to attract potential LGBTQ+ and other minority recruits for military service.
“This is the story of a soldier who operates your nation’s Patriot Missile Defense Systems. It begins in California with a little girl raised by two moms,” the narrator explains in the Army’s YouTube video advertisement. “Although I had a fairly typical childhood, took ballet, played violin, I also marched for equality. I like to think I’ve been defending freedom from an early age.”
“When I was six years old, one of my moms had an accident that left her paralyzed,” the narrator added. “Doctors said she might never walk again, but she tapped into my family’s pride to get back on her feet, eventually standing at the altar to marry my other mom.”
At the time of the Army’s 2021 advertisement campaign, Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) shared a tweet comparing the U.S. Army’s video with a video of Russian soldiers, writing, “Holy crap. Perhaps a woke, emasculated military is not the best idea….”
Over the past few years, the U.S. military has suffered a significant decline in recruitment. Last year, the military missed its recruitment goal by a combined total of 41,000 troops, with the Army falling 10,000 recruits short of its 65,000 recruitment goal.
Rep. Mike Waltz (R-Fla.), who served as a Green Beret, previously warned that the military has been “overly politicized and hyper-focused on DEI initiatives,” adding, “Under the Biden Administration, the Pentagon has diverted its focus from lethality and have instead pushed initiatives that have politicized our warfighting ranks and harmed our military readiness.”