SAN FRANCISCO, CA — A Marine Corps recruiting station in California has released a controversial recruiting poster that some have hailed as "progressive" and others as "tasteless" and "vulgar."
The poster's creator, Marine Gunnery Sergeant Gary Bingham, said the ad was aimed specifically at the gay community, of which he is a proud member.
"We've known for the longest time that our recruiting ads were hopelessly unrealistic: fighting the lava monster, climbing the mountain to meet the ghosts of World War II — nobody can relate to those," Bingham told Duffel Blog.
"I remembered a few years ago we had this commercial nicknamed 'Blackwater', about one of our dark green Marines who couldn't swim. Everybody got pissed when we made it, but after the story turned out to be real ... well, then they got really pissed, but our recruiting in the African-American community skyrocketed. People were like — 'Hey! Here's some guys who tell it like it is!'"
"And so I took the same attitude with my project."
Called "We're Also Looking For A Few Good Men", the recruiting poster contains a picture of the famous Iwo Jima flagraising, only the Marines are raising the Rainbow Flag associated with the Gay Pride movement. The poster then contains the phone number of the local San Francisco recruiting office.
Bingham has already received praise from an unlikely area: the city council of Berkeley, which previously tried to ban the Marines in 2008.
"This is definitely a unique way for the Marines to reach out to us, and we're happy to see that," Mayor Tom Bates told our correspondent while smoking some locally-grown hemp. "Don't get me wrong -- the military are scum, but now we can at least spit on them with pride."
< class=" wp-image-15889 " alt="The U.S. Army has already released its own realistic ad in response." src="http://duffelblog.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Army-Recruiting-299x450.jpg" width="179" height="270" /> The U.S. Army has already released its own realistic ad in response.
Some local residents were still offended by the Marines recruiting.
"I defined my life by protesting, who are they to take that away from me?" complained longtime Bay Area resident and professional protester Autumn Summers.
Bingham said based on the positive feedback, he had already started work on his next recruiting ad, which he called El Marina.
"All I can see in my head is a Mexican kid running towards the U.S. border, he jumps the fence and as he lands he morphs into a dress-blues Marine as the Marine Corps Hymn blares in the background," Bingham said. "I know we're too late for Cinco de Mayo but maybe we can have it ready by that crazy dead people holiday they have in November."
The US Army has responded with its own realistic ad, entitled "< alt="" src="https://fbstatic-a.akamaihd.net/rsrc.php/v2/y4/r/-PAXP-deijE.gif" />The US Army: More Than PTSD and Sexual Assault," while the Navy's was done entirely in Tagalog.