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Army Pulls Recruitment Ads After Narrating Actor is Arrested on Strangulation, Assault Charges

The Army's currently trying to reach a recruitment goal of 65,000

The United States Army pulled two advertisements after the actor hired to do the narration was arrested. 

Johnathan Majors, who appears in Creed III and Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania, was arrested in New York on March 25 and charged with strangulation, assault and harassment.

The two advertisements he narrated were scheduled to play during NCAA’s March Madness college basketball tournament. 

The two advertisements, titled “Overcoming Obstacles” and “Pushing Tomorrow,” were part of the revival of the Army’s “Be All You Can Be” slogan made famous during the 1980s. The advertisement documented the branch’s history and the potential career opportunities for those who enlist. 

The Army’s Enterprise Marketing Office released a statement on March 26 saying Majors “is innocent until proven guilty,” but “prudence dictates that we pull our ads until the investigation into these allegations is complete.”

Police in New York have said the allegations against Majors were brought by a 30-year-old woman and that the two were involved in a domestic dispute, per AP News.

In a March 26 interview with the Los Angeles Times, Majors’ lawyer, Priya Chaudhry, claimed that her legal team received “two written statements from the woman” who accused the actor of assault “recanting these allegations.”

Military recruitment is significantly down in America – creating potential longer-term issues for the government.

Every branch of the military struggled to meet recruiting goals during the 2022 fiscal year. By June, the Army had only met 40% of its goal and ultimately fell 25% short of its 60,000 recruit goal. The Coast Guard and the Air Force also missed their recruitment goals. Only the Space Force, active-duty Navy and active-duty Marines were projected to meet their recruitment goals.  

Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville told Congress in May that just 23% of Americans between the ages of 17 and 24 were qualified to enlist in the military.

A report from the Pentagon found health issues, including weight and drug use, disqualified 77% of Americans in that age bracket. Another 4% were disqualified for mental health-related reasons and 1% were disqualified because of aptitude or conduct. 

Further compounding the challenges facing military recruitment, a Defense Department survey found that only 9% of Americans who qualify for military recruitment are interested in enlisting. The results indicated the lowest level of interest since 2007.

“This recruiting crisis is like a slow-moving wave coming at us,” a senior defense official involved in recruiting and personnel issues told NBC News in June. “As the military has gotten smaller and the public have gotten less and less familiar with those in uniform, it has grown. And Covid accelerated it.”

The Army’s current recruitment goal, set by Army Secretary Christine Wormuth, is 65,000 recruits – 20,000 more than last year’s missed goal.

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article did not include comments Priya Chaudhry offered to the Los Angeles Times.

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