‘Snowflakes’, ‘Me Me Me Millennials’ asked to join British army

‘Snowflakes’, ‘Me Me Me Millennials’ asked to join British army

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LONDON: It’s late night in a British home. In the darkness, the flashing colours of a video game light a teenager’s face, his gaze fixed on the screen. “Can’t get him off that thing,” his father says. Then the image suddenly flips to soldiers in the field as a voice-over says: “Stamina. Don’t underestimate it.” This is one of several new recruitment ads the British army rolled out on Thursday, portraying the derogatory labels applied to young people as strengths. The army said it saw “compassion in ‘snowflakes’, self-belief in ‘me me me millennials’ and drive in ‘binge gamers’ ”.

Tapping into the anxieties of people growing up in a digital world — and their parents — the campaign says that what society often sees as a weakness or character flaw can be considered a strength in the army. “We understand the drive they have to succeed and recognise their need for a bigger sense of purpose in a job where they can do something meaningful,” Maj Gen Paul Nanson, who is in charge of recruitment and initial training, said.

The recruitment drive is part of a 10-year effort by the British army to maintain its operations around the world. But as European nations face an increasing threat from Russia, Britain and its Nato allies have grappled with falling numbers of military personnel and tight budgets.

In 2012, the British army entered into a 10-year recruitment and marketing contract worth £495 million, or about $623 million, with Capita, a London-based outsourcing company. But the number of new recruits has fallen short of the targets by 21% to 45% every year since 2013, a report from Parliament’s National Audit Office said last month.

The army’s image as both a force and an employer has faded over the decades — the Iraq war was unpopular, troop strength is down, and other job opportunities have swelled.



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