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Don't Be That Guy: Binge Drinking Prevention Campaign

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

What is it?

That Guy is a research-based binge drinking prevention marketing campaign that uses evidence-based practices and a peer-to-peer communications strategy to highlight the short-term, social and reputational consequences of excessive drinking. This campaign was launched by the Department of Defense (DOD)/Defense Health Agency (DHA) in 2006. This campaign is a unique tool in the DOD prevention toolbox as it is specifically designed to help prevent excessive drinking among 18-24 year-old junior enlisted military personnel.

This campaign’s prevention-focused marketing materials are available at no cost to DOD installations and can be ordered at the Resources page on the That Guy website. This site includes instructions on effectively implementing the campaign.

What has the Army done?

That Guy has been implemented at every major DOD installation across the globe, and ongoing research is conducted with junior service members to ensure that the campaign remains effective and relevant. The Army’s MWR/Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers (BOSS) program takes an active leadership role in implementing the campaign given its peer-to-peer focus. That Guy is also a featured resource on the Army Substance Abuse Program (ASAP) website and That Guy campaign representatives have briefed leadership and department-level point of contacts at scores of Army installations to promote and sustain this effort.

According to the 2012 DMDC Status of Forces Survey, awareness of That Guy among E1-E4 service members was 64 percent, an all-time high. In addition, an analysis of the 2008 DOD Health Related Behaviors Survey (HRBS) indicated a statistical correlation between That Guy campaign implementation and lower rates of binge drinking at participating DOD installations. Within the Army, the analysis also indicated a lower rate of binge drinking, overall, among junior enlisted males relative to the 2005 HRBS.

In 2015, the That Guy campaign was recognized with a first place award from the National Association of Government Communicators in the promotional campaigns category.

What does the Army have planned for the future?

Since 2013, the Defense Health Agency has been executing, in collaboration with the Army, two large-scale evaluation studies that further explore the impact of the That Guy campaign. Results from the first study are currently being analyzed and appear promising.

Why is it important to the Army?

Binge drinking is ultimately a force readiness issue as it is associated with a number of additional health and behavioral problems including sexual assaults, domestic violence, suicide, and motor vehicle accidents.


That Guy campaign on social media:

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