Title page for ETD etd-04142009-112949

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Rowland, Maryann M
Author's Email Address maryann.m.rowland@gmail.com
URN etd-04142009-112949
Title The Changing Face of the U.S. Military: A Textual Analysis of U.S. Army and U.S. Navy Recruiting Advertisements from Pre-9-11 to Six Years into the Iraq War
Degree Master of Mass Communication (M.M.C.)
Department Mass Communication
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Lisa K. Lundy Committee Chair
Anne C. Osborne Committee Member
Danny Shipka Committee Member
Hyunjae Yu Committee Member
  • Iraq War
  • impression management
  • issues mangement
  • U.S. military recruiting
  • 9-11
Date of Defense 2009-04-02
Availability unrestricted
In 2009, six years after the initial invasion of Iraq, the attraction of the "War on Terrorism" and the intense patriotism has faded. As a result, the military has watched the numbers of new enlistees steadily drop. The present study investigates whether the United States military has adapted its recruitment strategies in television advertisements to change its public image in the wake of the increasing unpopularity of the Iraq War and disillusionment with U.S. military operations in the broader "War on Terrorism." A textual analysis of U.S. Army and U.S. Navy recruiting advertisements that aired on national cable television during the eight-year period of the Bush administration (January 2001 to January 2009) was conducted to analyze the use of impression management and issues management in strategic messages and themes in the advertisements. The textual analysis of television recruiting advertisements found that issues management strategies were used to address changes in the social and political environment of the period in which they aired. The analysis of recruiting advertisements also found that impression management strategies were used to create a new image of the military and being a soldier in response to shifts in public attitudes that occurred during the period in which the advertisements aired. The findings suggest that the U.S. military can improve its organizational public image by using specific tactics in recruiting advertisements during different periods of wartime.
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