Gender and Military Recruitment Since the Lifting of the Combat Ban
The chapter considers whether the military altered its depictions of women in marketing and recruitment materials after the announcement of the repeal of the combat ban in 2013. Through a comparative analysis of over 1000 Facebook posts on the official recruitment Facebook pages of the Army, Air Force, Marines, and Navy between January 2013 and October 2015, it explores both textual and visual representations of military service tracing key themes and modal tropes since the announcement of the end of the combat ban on women. The research presented in the chapter demonstrates that women continued to be marginalized in online recruitment materials across the four branches during those years, frequently depicted in stereotypical roles or settings. Although they varied in their online representations of women, the Army, Air Force, Marines, and Navy remained wedded to an overarching depiction of militarized masculinity—and a racialized depiction that foregrounded white men.
- Agoglia, John. 2013, September 13. Army Sponsors Tough Mudder Obstacles in an Attempt to Recruit ‘Army Strong’ Soldiers. Athletic Business. Accessed February 15, 2019. http://www.athleticbusiness.com/military/army-sponsors-tough-mudder-obstacles-in-an-attempt-to-recruit-army-strong-soldiers.html.
- Brannen, K. 2013, November 19. Army PR Push: ‘Average-looking Women’. Politico. Updated November 20, 2013. https://www.politico.com/story/2013/11/army-pr-push-average-looking-women-100065.
- Caforio, G. 2007. Introduction. In Social Science and the Military: An Interdisciplinary Overview, ed. Guiseppi Caforio, 1–20. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Carrier, K., M. Eichler, and S. Szitanyi. 2015. The Lifting of Women’s Combat Exclusion: A Comparison of the Shifting Gendered Politics of Military Families in Canada and the United States. Paper Presented at the International Studies Association Annual Conference, February 2015, New Orleans, Louisiana.Google Scholar
- Elliott, S. 2011, May 24. Army Seeks Recruits in Social Media. The New York Times. Accessed February 15, 2019. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/25/business/media/25adco.html.
- Haltiner. 2003. The Decline of the European Mass Armies. In Handbook of the Sociology of the Military, ed. Giuseppe Caforio, 361–384. New York: Plenum Publishers.Google Scholar
- Sandhoff, M., M. Segal, and D. Segal. 2008. Gender Issues in the Transformation to an All-Volunteer Force: A Transnational Perspective. In The New Citizens Armies: Israel’s Armed Forces in Comparative Perspective, edited by Stuart Cohen, 111–113. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Statista. 2018. Number of Facebook Users by Age in the U.S. as of January 2018 (in Millions). Accessed February 15, 2019. http://www.statista.com/statistics/398136/us-facebook-user-age-groups/.
- U.S. Air Force Facebook Page. 2014. U.S. Airforce Recruiting. http://facebook.com/USAirForceRecruiting/.
- U.S. Army Facebook Page. 2013. U.S. Army – GoArmy.com. http://facebook.com/goarmy.
- U.S. Army Facebook Page. 2014. U.S. Army – GoArmy.com. http://facebook.com/goarmy.
- U.S. Army Facebook Page. 2015. U.S. Army – GoArmy.com. http://facebook.com/goarmy.
- U.S. Navy Facebook Page. 2015. “Forged by the Sea – America’s Navy.” http://facebook.com/americasnavy.
- U.S. Marine Corps Facebook Page. 2014. Marine Corps Recruiting. http://facebook.com/marinecorps/.
- U.S. Marine Corps Facebook Page. 2015. Marine Corps Recruiting. http://facebook.com/marinecorps/.