A curious omission in a US Air Force advertisement

science | Oct 06, 2014 | By Martin Barillas

All branches of the U.S. military, which is in the process of eliminating some personnel from its all volunteer force, still produces advertisements calling for citizens to consider their recruitment offers. In a recent video advertisement produced for the U.S. Air Force, the voices and images of four presidents are used to inspire the  patriotic instincts of Americans and induce them to join the ranks of the military.

The video opens with an orchestral score and a darkened background that is revealed to be an hangar from which emerges a steely-eyed Air Force pilot striding forward in his flight suit. In the background is the voice of President Ronald Reagan in vintage images in which he says "America's future will be determined by your dreams and your visions." 

Next in the video is President John F Kennedy, who in his remarks is heard to say "Some of you will fly the fastest planes that have ever been built, reach the highest altitude that Man has ever gone to," along with images of a female astronaut. President George W Bush, who served in the Texas National Air Guard during the Vietnam era, says "Whether you serve in the skies above or on the ground below, each of you has stepped forward to defend your country," as Air Force cadets look on. Finally, a speech given by President Bill Clinton is also utilized to inspire recruitment.

Presidents Kennedy, Reagan, and Bush served in the military in some capacity. Curiously absent from the commercial is the incumbent Chief Executive, President Barack Obama, who has not served in the military.



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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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