Recruiting for Difference and Diversity in the U.S. Military
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After shifting to an all-volunteer force (AVF) in 1973, the U.S. military was forced to expand recruiting efforts beyond the ideal figure of the white male soldier in order to meet personnel needs. Shaped by the economic realities of the AVF, such recruiting efforts sought to show individuals historically excluded from military service, namely women and people of color, that there was a place for them in the military. The presence of women and people of color in recruitment materials contributes to ideals of citizenship and articulates understanding of gender, race, sexuality, and class in relation to military inclusion. Focusing on recruitment advertisements published in three consumer magazines—Sports Illustrated, Ebony, and Cosmopolitan—from January 1973 to December 2014, this dissertation argues that the project of military inclusion is driven by a need to recruit bodies in maintenance of the military institution and obfuscates class inequalities critical to recruiting, reconfigures ideas about military masculinity, promotes ideologies of colorblindness, and regulates ideas about gender and sexuality.