Master of Mass Communication (MMC)


Mass Communication

Document Type



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.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Lisa K. Lundy