Not Just Strong. Army Strong
MICHELE NORRIS, Host:
Gina, thanks so much for being with us.
GINA CAVALLARO: Hi, Michele. It's good to be here.
NORRIS: Army Strong. What is the army trying to say with this new slogan?
CAVALLARO: That's a good question, but they spent most of the week explaining that. They unveiled it on Monday at the Association of U.S. Army annual conference. What they're trying to say, according to the army leaders, is we are the strongest army in the world and that's because there's nothing stronger than a U.S. Army soldier.
NORRIS: Now before we go on, here's a little clip from the old campaign, Army of One.
(SOUNDBITE OF TELEVISION AD)
OVERWAY: He is proof that one soldier can and does make a difference. Sergeant C.J. Overway. An Army of One.
NORRIS: Gina, does the army think that that campaign was a failure?
CAVALLARO: I couldn't get them to answer that question. I asked the secretary of the army if he thought that the slogan Army of One had hurt recruiting efforts, and he didn't directly answer the question. He did a good job moving on, saying that all they're doing is creating a new image and that they had wrapped up all the previous ad slogans into this new Army Strong.
NORRIS: How does it compare to previous slogans, if we were to reach back to the 1970s?
CAVALLARO: Well, let's see. In the environment after the Vietnam War, they used Today's Army wants to join you.
NORRIS: Sounds like the draft reaching into your mailbox.
CAVALLARO: That seemed like it needed a lot of images so you could say well, show me what the Army is.
NORRIS: Right. It seems like it's ancillary, that it needs to be accompanied by something to show what this actually is.
CAVALLARO: They're saying that this Army Strong slogan is a wrap up of all their campaigns, so.
NORRIS: What does the Army leadership say about the current environment and the role of this slogan in trying to attract new recruits?
CAVALLARO: Specifically, Army Secretary Frances Harvey, he told me that - he acknowledged that it's a tough recruiting environment. But they met their recruiting goals this year, at least in the active duty. They were almost all the way there in reserve and National Guard. They recruited more than 80,000 soldiers and they like to say, over the past year, they recruited 175,000 soldiers.
NORRIS: Historically, how important are these recruiting slogans in defining the Army? How important are they to people within the army and also to be used as a recruiting tool?
CAVALLARO: Army Strong, at least for one soldier I spoke to, got him choked up. He said when he heard that slogan, there's nothing on this green earth stronger than the U.S. Army and that's because there's nothing stronger than a U.S. Army soldier. I mean, he just lost it. He said the Army means everything to me, and that's so true. We're the mightiest army in the world."
NORRIS: Gina Cavallaro is a staff writer at the Army Times. She was speaking to us about the army's new slogan, Army Strong. Gina, thanks so much.
CAVALLARO: Thank you, Michele. It was a pleasure to be here.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.