Army to Release Music Video Aimed at Recruiting Gen-Z

U.S. Army Recruiters participate along with Soldiers from the 335th Signal Command (Theater) in creating a video to be used by U.S. Army Recruiting Command. (Laura Poirrier/U.S. Army)
U.S. Army Recruiters participate along with Soldiers from the 335th Signal Command (Theater) in creating a video to be used by U.S. Army Recruiting Command. (Laura Poirrier/U.S. Army)

The U.S. Army has a new music video that features two full-time recruiters rapping about the types of Army jobs that are open to young people in Generation Z.

The video, which is scheduled to begin airing at 6 a.m. Eastern Time Friday on the Army's social media pages, shows Sgt. 1st Class Arlondo Sutton and Sgt. 1st Class Jason Locke -- dressed in Army Combat Uniforms -- performing a hip-hop song while walking past soldiers rigged up for an airborne operation and other soldiers kitted up with body armor, helmets and M4 carbines.

Other scenes show the two soldiers rapping as they pass military police with service dogs and patrol cars with flashing lights.

Giving All I Got

The video, which was initially produced by Sutton and Locke, is the latest effort in the Army's new recruiting strategy -- launched quickly last fall after the service missed its recruiting goal for 2018.

The Army has launched four commercials since October under a new campaign known as "Warriors Wanted."

"We weren't even airing commercials [early] last year," Gen. Stephen Townsend, the commander of Army Training and Doctrine Command, told a group of reporters Thursday at a pre-screening of the music video at the Pentagon. "And when we did, they were three years old. We hadn't made a new Army commercial in three years."

Maj. Gen. Frank Muth, commander of Army Recruiting Command, said these national commercials were "great," but they were just a start.

"The Z-gens, they are turning quick; their attention span is eight seconds," Muth said, explaining that it quickly became clear that needed to start turning out shorter videos and getting them on social media at a faster pace.

Generation Z is a term typically used to refer to those born between the mid-90s and mid-2000s.

So when Muth saw the initial music video that Sutton and Locke produced, he wasted no time showing it to Townsend.

It was good, but it needed more of an Army focus, both generals said.

Muth called all of the virtual recruiting teams "together with all their creativity ... and they put the music video together and then went down to Fort Benning [Georgia] in a very deliberate manner and used a lot of Army equipment" to put it together.

"Our point of this is we have got very talented recruiters who are doing this on their own at the local level, and we are using it both locally and regionally to connect but it is connecting to the Z-gens and it is giving them the message that we know resonates with them," Muth said.

The music video is scheduled to air on Army Recruiting Command's YouTube, Facebook and other social media pages. The plan will be to then post it on the Army's social media pages as well, Army officials maintain.

Townsend said he had the chance to meet Sutton in Atlanta, along with his chain of command.

"I met his chain of command down there and I asked them how they were doing on their mission because I really wanted to know if he had time to be doing videos," Townsend said with a chuckle.

"That kind of presentation doesn't resonate well with me; it doesn't have to resonate well with me. It has to resonate with the 17-to-24-year-olds, and we believe it will."

-- Matthew Cox can be reached at matthew.cox@military.com.

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