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Slogans of the United States Army

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This World War I recruitment poster by James Montgomery Flagg, with more than four million copies printed in 1917 and 1918, defined not only an Army recruiting slogan, but also Uncle Sam's image for years to come.[1][2]
U.S. Army TV advertisement from 1986 using the "Be All You Can Be!" slogan

Slogans of the United States Army changed rarely in the 20th century, relative to the 21st.

World War I[edit]

"I Want YOU for US Army" featured on a poster of Uncle Sam painted by James Montgomery Flagg.


"Choice, Not Chance" and "Modern Army Green" were both used as slogans to advertise for having the choice of job training, travel, and branch and to highlight the newly introduced Class A Uniform, respectively. Public announcements on broadcast television, and highway roadway signs advertised slogans during a time of a national draft of young men 18 to 34 years of age. The advantage of volunteering for service as opposed to being drafted was the option to choose which career field you wanted to serve in along with the first unit and/or location of assignment.

1971 to 1980[edit]

"Today's Army Wants You" and "Today's Army Wants to Join You" were recruiting slogans from the 1971 Volunteer Army (Project VOLAR) campaign, introduced as the country prepared to transition to an all-volunteer military. When N. W. Ayer & Son, who were engaged by the US Army, believed they felt the army said "Today's Army is changing; we want to meet you half way", the firm came up with that slogan. General William Westmoreland asked "Do we have to ask it that way?" but agreed to the campaign. The slogan was replaced by "Join the People Who've Joined the Army" in 1973, which later evolved into "This is the Army."[3]

Slogan was written in 1971 by Ted Regan Jr., Executive Vice President and Executive Creative Director of N.W. Ayer, the Army's ad agency. Regan also wrote the follow-up slogan, "Join the people who've joined the Army.'

1980 to 2001[edit]

"Be All That You Can Be" was the recruiting slogan of the United States Army for over twenty years.[4] Earl Carter (pen-name, E.N.J. Carter) working for the N. W. Ayer Advertising Agency as a Senior Copywriter created the "Be All You Can Be" theme line in 1980.[5] Its accompanying music was written by Jake Holmes.[6][7][better source needed] In January 2003, the U.S. Army awarded Carter its Outstanding Civilian Service Award.[8] Carter's original concept sheet, with words "Be All That You Can Be", is now part of a permanent collection at the US Army Heritage Center Foundation.

In 2023, The U.S Army decided to bring back the slogan for newer recruitment campaigns.[9]

2001 to 2006[edit]

A Humvee wrapped with the slogan in April 2006

"Army of ONE" was a relatively short-lived recruiting slogan. Misunderstood, it was for Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers, and Enlisted.[citation needed] It replaced the popular "Be All You Can Be" and was replaced in 2006 by the new slogan "Army Strong".[10] The reason for the replacement, states Frank Luntz, is that the slogan "Army of One" is contrary to the idea of teamwork.[11]

2006 to 2018[edit]

The "Army Strong" advertising campaign's debut video, released in October 2006.

"Army Strong" was the recruiting slogan used for more than a decade by the United States Army. The composer of the music used in the Army Strong television advertisements is Mark Isham.[12]

2018 to 2023[edit]

The Army debuted a new recruiting slogan, "Warriors Wanted," in October 2018.[13][14] The Army updated the recruiting slogan to "What's Your Warrior?" in 2019. The slogan launched on broadcast, print and digital properties in November 2019 and used "soldier stories" to persuade youths to enlist.[15]

2023 to present[edit]

The Army has returned to the recruiting slogan of "Be All You Can Be." The effective date is March 8, 2023.[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Most Famous Poster". American Treasures of the Library of Congress.
  2. ^ "Who Created Uncle Sam?". Life's Little Mysteries. Live Science. Archived from the original on 3 December 2008. Retrieved 16 February 2012.
  3. ^ pp.141–142 Griffith, Robert K. & Wyndham, John U.S Army's Transition to the All Volunteer Force 1868–1974 1997 DIANE Publishing
  4. ^ AdSlogans.com – Wise Words/13 Archived 19 December 2010 at WebCite
  5. ^ "America’s Army", Beth Bailey, Pages 191, 192
  6. ^ "Dazed and Confused: The Incredibly Strange Saga of Jake Holmes". www.furious.com. Retrieved 22 April 2024.
  7. ^ Pollard, Garland (15 August 2009). "Interview: Singer Songwriter Jake Holmes, America's Most Memorable Jingle Writer". Retrieved 22 April 2024.
  8. ^ http://earlcarterawards.com/armypressrelease.pdf Archived 19 December 2010 at WebCite
  9. ^ http://www.washingtontimes.com, The Washington Times. "Army brings back venerable 'Be All You Can Be' ad campaign". The Washington Times. Retrieved 17 January 2023. {{cite web}}: External link in |last= (help)
  10. ^ Tyson, Anne Scott (22 November 2006). "Army Debuts New Slogan in Recruiting Commercials". The Washington Post. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
  11. ^ Luntz, Frank. Words That Work. p. 119. ISBN 9781401385750. Why did the U.S. Army jettison "be all that you can be," surely one of the most widely known taglines in the world, for the rather odd and uninspiring "An army of one"? Especially when an "army," by definition, is more than one person. While it is understandable for an organization like the military to want to individualize and personalize what it does, that's just not a believable or credible selling point.
  12. ^ "The making of Army Strong". www.army.mil.
  13. ^ Myers, Meghann (4 January 2019). "New in 2019: The Army is pulling out all the stops to attract Generation Z". Army Times. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  14. ^ "Become a Warrior in the Army | goarmy.com". goarmy.com. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  15. ^ "U.S. Army: What's Your Warrior?". goarmy.com.
  16. ^ The Army wants you to be all you can be, again

External links[edit]