By Pvt. Andrea E. Merritt, 1st Infantry DivisionNovember 17, 2006
FORT RILEY, Kan. (Army News Service, Nov. 17, 2006) - After 18 years of "Be all you can be" and five years as "Army of one," the Army has adopted "Army Strong" as its new slogan and the focus of a new advertising campaign that showcases the strength of Soldiers past, present and future.
"What Army Strong says about the Soldier is that there's a physical and emotional strength, there's a strength of purpose and there's a strength of team," said Lt. Gen. Robert L. Van Antwerp, commander of U.S. Army Accessions Command.
The first three Army Strong television ads debuted nationwide Nov. 9 on over 20 major networks, including MTV, USA and Lifetime.
Fort Riley prepared for the kick-off of the new campaign by putting up banners and posters at the gates, gyms, shoppettes, fire houses, Post Exchange and other places around base.
Fort Riley, home of the Big Red One, has anticipated the launch of the new campaign since the 1st Infantry Division was chosen to participate in the ads.
Most of the commercials were taped on and around Fort Riley, as well in as Fort Lewis, Wash. Soldiers were filmed performing physical training, an obstacle course and air assault training.
"What's great about working with real Soldiers, besides the fact that you're dealing with the truth and they're not playing the role of a Soldier, is they're great at taking direction," said Samuel Bayer, the director behind the Army Strong ads.
"You tell them to hit their mark, and they hit it every single time," he added.
Chief Warrant Officer Verdo Jackson, a Blackhawk pilot, and Spc. Alysha Ford, a helicopter repairer and crew chief, both assigned to the Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, were featured in the new internet ads. They, and nine other Fort Riley Soldiers, talk candidly about their military occupational specialties at www.goarmy.com/strong.
"We want the viewer to take away the strength of the Army, so one thing you see is this phenomenal strength that you have in this wonderful team that's over one million strong," said Van Antwerp.
The new campaign was announced Oct. 9 by Secretary of the Army Francis J. Harvey at the 2006 Association of the U.S. Army Annual Meeting in Wash., D.C.
"To meet our objectives, the total Army must recruit far more people than the, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps combined," said Harvey.
The Army exceeded its recruiting goal by enlisting more than 175,000 men and women in fiscal 2006 and hopes to bring in even more with the new ad campaign, Harvey added.