US Army removes 2021 LGBTQ+ recruitment video 'The Calling' as recruitment falls short

The 2021 video advertisements produced by the Army, including one titled 'Emma' showcasing a soldier raised by two lesbian mothers, were launched as part of the U.S. military's efforts during President Joe Biden's administration to appeal to potential recruits from the LGBTQ+ community and other minority groups for military service.

US Army removes 2021 LGBTQ+ recruitment video 'The Calling' as recruitment falls short
US Army
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The United States Army has removed "The Calling" from YouTube due to ongoing recruitment challenges. This move comes after the 2021 advertising campaign, which stirred controversy by showcasing an LGBTQ+ recruitment video featuring a soldier raised by two mothers.

As reported by Military.com, the United States Army removed "The Calling" from its YouTube channel just last week. Delisting a video on YouTube does not erase the video entirely; rather, it prevents the video from appearing in the platform's search results and recommendations. Nevertheless, users can still view the video by using the original video link.

Explaining the rationale behind removing the advertisement videos, Laura DeFrancisco, a spokesperson for Army marketing, said that the music rights for the advertising campaign were nearing their expiration.

The 2021 video advertisements produced by the Army, including one titled "Emma" showcasing a soldier raised by two lesbian mothers, were launched as part of the U.S. military's efforts during President Joe Biden's administration to appeal to potential recruits from the LGBTQ+ community and other minority groups for military service.

“This is the story of a soldier who operates your nation’s Patriot Missile Defense Systems. It begins in California with a little girl raised by two moms,” the narrator explains in video. “Although I had a fairly typical childhood, took ballet, played violin, I also marched for equality. I like to think I’ve been defending freedom from an early age.”

“When I was six years old, one of my moms had an accident that left her paralyzed,” the narrator added. “Doctors said she might never walk again, but she tapped into my family’s pride to get back on her feet, eventually standing at the altar to marry my other mom.”

The video was met with mockery and disdain when release, with Senator Ted Cruz sharing a tweet comparing the U.S. Army’s video with a video of Russian soldiers, writing, “Holy crap. Perhaps a woke, emasculated military is not the best idea….”

In recent years, the U.S. military has experienced a substantial decrease in its recruitment numbers. In the previous year, the military failed to meet its recruitment target by a total of 41,000 personnel, and the Army specifically fell short by 10,000 recruits from its goal of 65,000.

Republican Rep. Mike Waltz, who served as a Green Beret, previously stated that the military has been “overly politicized and hyper-focused on DEI initiatives,” adding, “Under the Biden Administration, the Pentagon has diverted its focus from lethality and have instead pushed initiatives that have politicized our warfighting ranks and harmed our military readiness.”

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