Good to see that the hip-hop community isn’t being taken in by the recruiters targeting their “market.” Seriously, what do “tricked out Hummers,” “rap music, video games and portable basketball hoops” have do with the military and war? Nothing, and everyone knows it.
July 2, 2007 — New Yorkers want to be all they can be – as long as they don’t have to be soldiers.
Despite 46 recruitment centers throughout the five boroughs – including a Times Square station with a flashy billboard – New York enlists the fewest military recruits of any big city, according to a report.
While a creative recruiting effort has raised numbers across the country, the campaign is failing miserably in New York, where a thriving local economy is more appealing than a battlefield in Baghdad, Crain’s New York Business says.
The number of New York City’s active-duty recruits dropped 19 percent, from 1,295 in 2004 to 1,044 in 2006, according to data from the National Priorities Project, a nonprofit government data research organization, quoted by Crain’s. Among states, New York ranked 39th in recruitment, signing up 1.23 per thousand in 2006.
Across the country, the military is so desperate to win the recruitment war that it has launched an incursion into what has often been considered hostile territory: the hip-hop community.
Recruiters have taken pages out of the hip-hop marketing textbook, hitting urban high schools in tricked-out Hummers, Crain’s reports. In what could easily pass as radio-station promotional stunts, the military sales teams hit neighborhoods with rap music, video games and portable basketball hoops.
But New York kids aren’t paying attention.
Jorge Lozado, a high-school student in lower Manhattan, says he’s not surprised by the low recruitment numbers.
“I love my country,” said Lozado as he walked past the Times Square booth. “But I don’t want to die for no reason.”
The flashy display did not appeal to Saliym Lanzot, 15, a student at Manhattan’s Martin Luther King Jr. HS.
“I wouldn’t join the military,” Lanzot said. “It’s stupid. You fight for no reason.”
The military spent $1.5 billion nationally on advertising in 2006.