Challenging the Characterizations of Military Service
This chapter considers efforts by veterans groups to challenge the characterizations of military service in pursuit of broader counter-recruitment goals. With a focus on the marketing of military service to young people, the analysis centers on the capacity for counter-recruitment campaigns to offer meaningful performative challenges to the dominant cultural stereotyping of military personnel in the United States and Britain. The United States military identifies individuals between the ages of 13 and 17 as "pre-prospects". These are young people who have not yet reached the required age for actual recruitment, but whose attitudes toward military careers are still malleable. In the United Kingdom, teenagers and school children are no less a target of military recruitment. The physical presence of military personnel among young people is only one piece of the recruitment puzzle. Much of the controversy surrounding the game stems from its amorphous function as both an entertainment platform and an advertising campaign for the US military.