SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Army News Service, Jan. 7, 2008) - U.S. Army Accessions Command launched five new recruiting ads during the Army All-American Bowl Saturday.

The ads feature real Soldiers doing their jobs and the voice of actor Gary Sinese, said Col. David Lee, deputy chief of staff for strategic communications, marketing and outreach at Army Accessions Command.

"We've got one that's titled 'Look Up' that stars a Hispanic Soldier," he said. "It shows the different experiences that a Soldier can have from combat operations to peacekeeping, and shows that a Soldier can gain respect for all the different missions that he does and the wide breadth of things that you do in the Army."

Other commercials featured former Soldiers talking about life after the Army and Reserve troops doing both their civilian and military jobs.

Accessions Command also updated Thursday with new videos and interviews with Soldiers speaking about their experiences in the Army. The updated site includes videos that show the basic-training experience on a weekly basis.

The All-American Bowl, an annual East-West matchup of the nation's top high-school football players, is one of the Accession Command's top outreach events.

The 150-city selection tour for the football players and U.S. Army All-American Marching Band members allowed recruiters to tell almost a million students and influencers all about the Army, according to Tom Tiernan, the chief of outreach and event marketing at Accessions Command. Recruiting Command also holds a national center of influence tour, which brings educators and other influencers to Fort Sam Houston, Texas, and allows them to interact with Soldiers and Army leaders.

"The game is a cog. It's the center of the wheel around which everything else is built. It's a nice tie in," Mr. Tiernan said.

"It's not so much a recruiting effort as an opportunity to educate people about the United States Army," said Col. Lee. "There's a lot of people who don't understand what the Army does. Everybody thinks the Army is just Iraq or Afghanistan, but we have a lot of other missions all around the world. There are 150 jobs in the United States Army."

The Army isn't trying to recruit the players, most of whom have full football scholarships to top universities; but recruiters talk to the many students who don't have such opportunities about the educational opportunities the Army offers through the Reserve Officers Training Corps or under the G.I. Bill. Under the Partnership for Youth Success, recruits who enlist with certain specialties are guaranteed priority job interviews with some of the country's top employers.

More importantly, each athlete is paired with a combat veteran who has received the Silver Star, Bronze Star or Purple Heart, and has the opportunity to see what true heroism is up close. According to Col. Lee, the players and heroes often develop relationships that last for years.

"Meeting our Army heroes is definitely an extreme highlight of being out here," said West team quarterback Dayne Christ, a Player of the Year finalist. "Getting to know these guys is a very humbling experience. All these honors and accolades that we're nominated for out here, they're really meaningless in the grand scheme of things. It really means a lot to me, and I know these other guys, to be able to sit down with such courageous individuals who truly epitomize the word hero."

The bowl airs at noon Central time on NBC on Saturday. For more information about the All-American Bowl, visit <a href="" target="_blank"></a>. For more information about the Soldier heroes, visit <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16