This is Belonging
The new British Army advert is astonishing.
This image – one of a series – shows soldiers larking about in the ruins of some land. The emphasis is on ‘Belonging’ ‘camaraderie’ and community, all attributes noticeably missing from contemporary life, and arguably even more so from young men’s lives.
But here’s the twist. Belonging comes from occupation. The squadddies are having a real laugh in the bombed wreckage of somebodies home, somewhere.
The British Army employ ad companies to create this mood-music In this instance a company called Karmarama.
The campaign they say draw inspiration from Millennials’ oft-stated desire to find a career that allows them to make a positive difference to the world.
According to Karmarama, “The majority (81%) of UK adults believe it’s important to actively contribute towards a worthwhile cause. This latest insight-led campaign for the Army calls on young people who want to be part of something bigger to act on these ambitions, and consider a career in the forces.”
“We decided to highlight real and authentic army contexts and moments that clearly show the importance of being part of a strong and selfless family that accepts you for you, and gives you the chance to work together for a meaningful purpose,” says Nik Studzinski, Chief Creative Officer at Karmarama.
Organised violence as antidote to anomie. Invasion as response to crisis of community. Be the Best.
The UK military recruits 2,000 16 to 17-year-olds, making up a quarter of all new enlistments, according to figures compiled in a parliamentary briefing by Child Soldiers International. Following an outcry over the deployment of 17-year-olds to the Gulf War in 1991, and to Kosovo in 1999, the armed forces amended its rules stopping soldiers under 18 from being sent on operations where there was a possibility of fighting. Despite this, at least 20 soldiers aged 17 are known to have served in Afghanistan and Iraq due to errors by the MoD.
As Duad Alakbarov reported for Bella last year:
“The armed forces continue with their policy of targeting their school visits excessively to schools in deprived areas and children from low-income families, the Department of Education ignores the UN’s recommendations that some form of peace education should be part of the curriculum in UK state schools, and supports initiatives encouraging a military ethos.
According to ForcesWatch report, the armed forces recorded 1783 visits to 377 Scottish education institutions. 1455 visits were to 303 Scottish state secondary schools, of which 42% were made by the Army, 31% by the Navy and 27% by the RAF during the academic years of 2010-11 and 2011-12. This equates to an average of two visits per year for every state secondary school in Scotland.”
The UK remains the only country in Europe to recruit 16-year-olds into its armed forces. This is despite recommendations from the United Nations committee on the rights of the child and the parliamentary joint committee that the minimum age for recruitment be raised to 18.
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