Military Review

Pentagon wraps Ji-Ai in an advertising poster.

Pentagon wraps Ji-Ai in an advertising poster.A common phenomenon in the outreach activities of the PR services and units of the armed forces (VS) of the Western European countries - members of NATO, the USA, Canada was the involvement of volunteers to participate in special events aimed at building and promoting the positive image of the armed forces, improving the status of military personnel and prestige of military service in society. The main task of specialists in public relations is the informational impact on civilian and military audiences inside and outside the country in order to form a friendly attitude towards national armed forces and the military policy pursued in the country. "Speaking of the public," said Clifford Bernat, director of the information service of the US Department of Defense (American Forces Information Service - AFIS), "we mean both providing information to civilian media and informing servicemen themselves through military publications." We are striving, he assured, “to open the society as openly and promptly as possible about the activities of the army and try to do so in a high professional level.”

In the United States, the formation of military structures dealing with public relations and representing a system of special bodies, units and officials dates back to the presidency of Thomas Woodrow Wilson, who established the Citizens' Public Relations Committee to provide popular support for the government’s military policy. Today, the total number of specialists in public relations in the US military is more than 7 thousand people. Civil servants in the first place, journalists, psychologists, linguists, advertisers, etc. are actively involved in working in this area. "Army leaders at all levels must be associated with the public," the FM 46-1 FM field guide states. The public relations specialist Public Affairs insignia (journalists, press attaché, propagandists, recruiters, and others) depicts a vertically raised sword laid on crossed feathers and lightning. The background is a golden disc with a diameter of one inch.

Information and educational work in the armed forces of the United States and NATO member countries is characterized by the presence in the troops of an extensive structure of the information apparatus, operating up to and including the battalion. PR departments exist in the armies of the Netherlands, Canada, Australia, Luxembourg, India, Pakistan and other countries. Strengthening the activities of public relations departments was the decision of the US DoD to create a rapid response advocacy group. The task of the structure formed by the best PR specialists, which has already been called the “Pentagon Information Special Forces”, will be an immediate (within 48 hours) arrival at the site of the intended military operation to create a favorable ideological background in its media coverage.


The needs of recruitment campaigns, the constant desire to make "people in the form of" favorites of the whole people encourage PR officers to search for new forms of interaction with various social strata of the population. And this is helped by the rich experience of their predecessors, who managed to establish fruitful cooperation with civilians on a voluntary basis.

Almost immediately after the entry of the USA into World War II, the Museum of Modern Art in New York announced the start of a competition for the best poster, “A Poster in the Service of Ensuring National Defense.” The museum administration has become a volunteer assistant to the US Armed Forces in organizing patriotic education in the country. In extraordinary circumstances, its representative said, “artists are as important an asset as specialists in other fields, and unique talent should be used by the government to achieve a general goal. A month later, the best posters selected by the Ministry of Defense propagandists according to the results of the competition were already on display at the museum stands. Soon the “Bulletin of the Museum of Modern Art” stated: “The results were surprisingly good; they showed a serious intention to portray an army with unvarnished realism. Civil amateur and professional artists transformed into soldier-artists. "

At the suggestion of Brigadier General Frederick Osborne, a program was designed to “use talented artists to decorate rest rooms, dining rooms and other public spaces.” The goal of the program was to improve and aesthetise the environment, raise the standard of military life. Success exceeded all expectations. Began to receive numerous applications in the location of military units with a request to connect to the implementation of the program. Many artists volunteered to participate in the creation of frescoes in recreation rooms and clubs, the breakdown and design of squares and landscape areas of the nearby territory. The work of each artist was observed by hundreds of military personnel who expressed a desire to participate in classes in painting, sculpture and photography. Civilian teachers and local communities helped to meet this cultural need.

James Soby was appointed director of the artistic service program of the armed forces, who saw his task "in holding exhibitions and actions aimed at strengthening the morale of servicemen." By his efforts in the Museum of Modern Art began to work photo exhibition. In May 1942, the year Soby opened the sale of artwork donated by exhibitors. Many collectors and artists who donated paintings, sculptures, watercolors, gouaches, drawings, and engravings of lithography responded to the Soby offer.

Famous masters of the arts and show business stars often volunteered for PR campaigns in the armed forces. In Hollywood, there was a special "cafeteria" in which soldiers and officers were served and entertained by popular movie stars: Lana Turner, Hedy Lamarr, Betty Grable, Dorothy Lamour and others. Touring trips to the troops were organized for Paul Douglas, John Russell, Donald O'Connor, Debbie Reynolds, Errol Flynn, Terry Moore. Popular singers and actors Bing Crosby, Beth Davis, Duke Ellington, Humphrey Bogart, the incomparable Marlene Dietrich, Judy Garland, Ann Sheridan, James Stewart, Glen Miller and many others performed before the soldiers of the American army. Prominent volunteers of the past have included actors Bob Hope, Martha Rae, Johnny Grant, Mickey Rooney and others.


The tradition of attracting prominent and popular artists to participate in propaganda PR campaigns continues today. To strengthen patriotic feelings and relieve combat fatigue among military personnel, the organization of direct personal contact between military personnel and general favorites — figures of cinema, theater, and stage music — is of paramount importance.

The famous American actor Ben Aflek spent the Christmas and New Year holidays in the countries of the Persian Gulf, where the units of the US Army who participated in the military operation in Iraq were stationed. According to eyewitnesses, Aflek met with the American soldiers and showed them the new John Wu film Paycheck, in which he played the main role. Jessica Simpson and punk rock legend Henry Rollins came to Iraq to perform in front of American soldiers. Comedian Robin Williams came to Iraq four times.

During operations in Iraq, Brad Pitt visited the soldiers. For the moral support of American troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, the brightest representatives of American show business considered it their duty to meet with the warriors. Rocker from Detroit Ted Nugent went to the scene with a pistol on his hip, and moved from one base to another on a military Hammer, standing by a machine gun.

With the song Ain't It Funny in front of the American soldiers, Jennifer Lopez performed. Arnold Schwarzenegger, fulfilling his civic duty, decided to please the American troops in the Persian Gulf with his appearance and present them his new film. Twenty-year-old actress Lindsay Lohan, known for the films "Freaky Friday" and "Mean Girls", as well as the shooting film "Georgia Rule", wants to go to Iraq and perform in front of American troops. “I wanted to go to Iraq for a very long time,” said Lohan, who told Elle magazine about her desire to beat Marilyn Monroe, who sang in front of a hundred-thousand-strong army located in Korea in 1954, “It’s amazing that one woman, a movie star, whom I always she wanted to become, she could go there, ”said Lohan, adding that she and her bodyguards are going to take several lessons of shooting to make the trip safer.”

Volunteers-masters of the arts sometimes perform in the most remote parts and often in completely unprepared conditions - in the back of a truck, in the luggage compartment of an airplane, in military tents, in bunkers. In the location of American troops in Baumholder (Germany), more than 3000 US military personnel returning home after 15 months of service in Iraq, the famous rock bands Hinder and Ember, listed on the modern rock market as one of the most promising bands, greeted with live performances. “It is very honorable to participate in such a meeting. We carry a piece of America to our soldiers. And nothing reminds about the house like old and good rock and roll, ”said BBC Col. Edward Shock. “Our song“ American Hero ”speaks of deep respect for the soldiers on the front line. They are the real heroes, ”vocalist Chris Martinez expressed the opinion of Ember.

The rock bands Hinder and Ember, as part of the Freedom Rocks tour, held a free concert for military personnel and their families at Ramstein, the largest US airbase in Germany. “We remember our freedom. You do your job far from home. You protect us, ”said Deuce Wanier, guitarist for Ember, with emotion. Patriotically sounded and with enthusiasm the audience was greeted by one of the last hits of the American Hero band. According to bass player Mike Rodden, the Hinder band was impressed by a visit to the Regional Medical Center in Landstuhl, where they had to perform in front of wounded soldiers. Director of Public Relations, Army Entertainment Directorate fleet (Armed Forces Entertainment and Navy Entertainment) Melissa Welch thanked the musicians for their work, "enhancing the morale of warriors."


An important role in the formation of a positive image of military service is played by the popularization of works of fine art devoted to military topics. The largest collection of original works of military art - from large-scale canvases to pencil drawings, offers the British corporation Cranston arts-military print company. The exclusive range contains more than 4000 titles of works by famous artists, and among them are paintings by Ivan Berriman, Ray Honisette, Robert Taylor, Terence T. Cuneo, David Pentland and other masters. For those interested in artistic creativity of the military, a particularly attractive circumstance is the strong ties of artists with the armed forces.

Comedian Robin Williams in Baghdad heartily confused US Army fighters during the Iraq war.

Professional artist Stan Stokes completed several murals for the Palm Springs Aerospace Museum, including some of his most famous Corsair on the way 19 x 55 ft., Undaunted Midway 12 x 34 ft. And more than 50 original images pilots. Stan Stokes has met and worked with many heroes aviation, including with General Jimmy Doolittle, Pappi Boeington, Chuck Yeager and others. More than 20 paintings were painted by the artist for the Aviation Museum in the Philippines. More than 15 paintings were commissioned by NASA, starting with the SR-71 Blackbird spacecraft. The painting “Aircraft Carrier George W. Bush Follows Its Course” is on permanent display at the George W. Bush Presidential Library at College Station, Texas. His work also adorns the Presidential Library of Ronald Reagan in Simi Valley (California). Stokes' works are exhibited in the art collections of the Air Force, the Pentagon, the San Diego Aerospace Museum, the Smithsonian National Museum of Aviation and Space in Washington.

Illustrator Terence Cuneo became famous for depicting battle scenes and portraits of major warlords, including a portrait of Field Marshal Montgomery. His work on the Royal Artillery, Rifle Brigade, cleaning of minefields in North Africa, are on display in many museums and galleries.

American artist Ivan Berriman - master of images of the climactic episodes of air battles. One of his works is dedicated to the legendary pilot-asu lieutenant Jan Waija Glid, who won many victories in air battles with the Nazis and died on his Spitfire Vc in April 1943. The canvas depicts the moment of the air battle that occurred on 15 August 1940, when Lieutenant Jan Glid managed to knock down German Messerschmitt Bf. 110. The feats of US naval aviation pilots during the Second World War are devoted to Berriman's paintings “The Invisible Enemy” and “Two“ Firefly Mk.5 ”from the 810 squadron of the FAA over the Theseus light aircraft carrier.

Famous artists, a prominent place in the work of which is a reflection of the heroic everyday life of naval pilots during the Second World War and the Korean War, are David Pentland with his famous works “Combat group Piper - 16 – 26 December 1944” and “Fight for Kotlise ”, Ray Honisette and his painting“ The Aircraft Carrier “Sydney” during Typhoon Ruth, Robert Taylor and his work “The Calm Before the Storm”, “JG-52”.

Gallery of episodes, events, scenes dedicated to the war at sea, created the "most famous maritime painter of the twentieth century," an honorary member of the most prestigious art communities of Great Britain Montagu Dawson, grandson of the famous painter Marinist Henry Dawson. His works are in museums, corporate and private collections on both sides of the Atlantic.

A world-famous artist who devoted himself to the naval theme was self-taught artist from Melbourne, Randall Wilson, the author of a collection of paintings depicting English, American, German, Australian and Japanese battleships, aircraft carriers and cruisers. Randall also paid attention to the legendary military equipment of the Second World War. The paintings "Night Hunter - HE219s" and "Mustang P51-D" are especially appreciated by admirers of his talent.


Work with volunteers in the US Armed Forces is carried out on a serious organizational basis. It involves not only individual, albeit eminent citizens, but also entire organizations that have declared voluntary cooperation with the armed forces as their mission. At the initiative of the American non-profit certified private organization (United Service Organizations - USO) in the United States on an ongoing basis, there is a wide media campaign, in which leading electronic and print media provide free of charge air and pages for "publicly significant advertising", calling on the population of the country to fully support American military establishment.

The US media provides annual support to the US Armed Forces in the amount of tens of millions of dollars, and in general, the amount of media support has long exceeded 100 million. “Our media campaign provided us with the opportunity to act outside of politics in order to increase public support for our troops, and we are immensely grateful to the media for assistance rendered to us, ”the statement of the president and the executive director of this public organization, Edward Powell, stresses. The volume of free advertising in support of the US Armed Forces in a short time increased by 27%. Over the course of the year, such an advertisement went on more than 1 thousand TV channels and radio stations over 230 thousand times. Free advertisements in support of the US Armed Forces were placed on the pages of leading newspapers and magazines, on the Internet, on billboards at airports and other places.

Throughout the years of its existence, the USO mission has invariably been the moral and material support of the American army, in the creation of attractive conditions for the full rest of the personnel. The USO, in the opinion of its leadership, is "the bridge between the American public and the American forces." Being, in fact, a charitable organization, the USO "relies on the generosity of ordinary people and corporations." By providing USO with material support, “Americans along with confidence in the Service itself express sincere gratitude to men and women in military uniforms”. The USO is a national value that “allows Americans to express their appreciation, concern and support to the armed forces.” Not being a government agency, the USO has always found understanding of the state and public figures. Each US president becomes the honorary chairman of the USO.

To establish direct contacts with representatives of various segments of the population, the high-tech capabilities of the US Department of Defense PR service are effectively used. The US Central Command (CENTCOM) public relations department successfully operates the Electronic Media Engagement team (EMET). The group, initially consisting of three officers, began to anonymously publish in the Internet diaries information about operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Today, the unit’s duties include daily viewing of messages and posting comments to them on various websites. In the case of incorrect statements or inaccurate information about the actions of parts of the US Army on blogs, EMET employees provide the author with a direct link to the CENTCOM website, which contains official explanations of the army leadership. CENTCOM rated this method of public relations as one of the most effective. To date, the group’s activities provide official information to a total of at least 17 million Internet users.


When implementing measures to maintain a positive image of military service, PR Service specialists interact with the Chaplaincy Service with the coordinating participation of commanders of all degrees and the assistance of such services as military music, military sociological, military law, and others. For the purpose of effective organizational and ideological consolidation of the Armed Forces of the NATO countries, the army command actively uses the possibilities and successfully established methods of activity of military priests. The consolidating role of Christian shepherds seeking to consolidate the arms"The" brotherhood of faith "seems simply indispensable here. The priests of the Bundeswehr are widely practiced to attract to the divine services the soldiers of the armies of NATO countries stationed in Germany. The solemn church services and ceremonies in the units and garrisons are always present soldiers of the American, British, Belgian, Dutch troops. The leadership of the NATO Joint Armed Forces, placing great hopes on the attractiveness of Christian ideas among soldiers of different nationalities and different states, plans and conducts joint activities of a religious nature. The most famous of the joint NATO actions of the Christian Church are the solemnly organized annual pilgrimages of servicemen to the French town of Lourdes of the Haute-Pyrénées department, sacred to every Christian. The inhabitants of this small town in the south-west of France, called "French Jerusalem", in 1858 year 18 was the Virgin Mary, indicating the place in the grotto, from where the source with miraculous healing water scored. Today, an underground church on 30, thousands of places, has been built here, services are held in six languages, and in the evening, torchlight processions are held. During the 50 years that have passed since the day of the first pilgrimage of NATO soldiers in 1958, the event has undergone significant changes.

The pilgrimage procedure itself is thought out carefully and to the smallest detail by church leaders, experienced directors, artists-designers, designers, psychologists, specialists in the field of PR-technologies are invited in advance, and the necessary financial and material resources are allocated. Therefore, pilgrimages are colorfully decorated celebrations, festive processions, in which almost 20 thousand troops take part (including about 4 thousand soldiers and officers of the Bundeswehr). On the 47 international pilgrimage for military personnel in Lourdes, Italian soldiers walked nine days on foot from St. Peter's Square in the Vatican. The powerful moral and psychological impact on all participants in the pilgrimage is exerted by the messages and addresses of the Pope of Rome and other senior ecclesiastical hierarchs. During the preparation and implementation of the pilgrimage campaign, the ideas of friendship and unity among the soldiers of the armies of the NATO bloc countries are intensively spread along with religious views, their determination to defend the faith and their religious ideals is emphasized. In other words, solving specific tasks by means inherent in them, military priests, with the assistance of officers of PR services, objectively contribute to increasing the combat readiness of military personnel, strengthening the morale of soldiers and officers, educating them to be ready to fight for the faith and the state.


One of the main activities of PR services and units of the Armed Forces of foreign countries is the establishment of productive relations with civilian media, many of which are very critical of the military policy of their own governments. Only press releases, briefings and even regular press conferences are often unable to change the tone of publications of these print media. The use of new information support developments, which have achieved substantial public support for the coalition countries of hostilities in Afghanistan and Iraq, should include the introduction of journalists representing the US and British media into combat units.

For journalists heading into the war zone in Iraq, the US military organized a course of basic military training. The best specialists in conducting psychological operations, who unobtrusively pointed out to the need to win support for the US military-political course, were attracted to the training of media employees. The US Department of Defense Brian Whitman’s press secretary, appointed by the curator of the classes, urged not to consider military training as a prerequisite for assigning journalists to active army units or attempts to put pressure on the press. Exclusive coverage of the fighting was granted by CNN and the BBC.

Professional journalists integrated into units involved in combat operations. 662 journalists were attached to the US Army and 95 to the British Armed Forces. Each of the largest US television channels ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, Fox was represented in the army by 26 journalists. The reputable print media of the Washington Post, The New York Times, Time, Newsweek and others were given the opportunity to send 10 journalists to the troops. Along with the advancing units on the front line were the most famous American reporters Oliver North, Wolf Blitzer, Scott Pely, Ted Connell. The “embedded journalists”, as they were called, lived up to expectations by posting online and real-time video and photo materials made from American tanks during the offensive of coalition forces.

Relying on the support of volunteers - individual civilians and entire public commercial and non-profit organizations, involving well-known scientists and artists in voluntary cooperation, the PR services of foreign states succeed in creating and promoting the positive image of national armed forces and the military policy of their own governments.
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  1. AVV
    AVV 15 October 2013 12: 52
    By all means, the Yankees want to whitewash the activities of their troops, and those crimes around the world! And also gain new cannon fodder! All means are good for this! The Pentagon’s policy is in action, it doesn’t matter that the army has a huge train of murders all over the world !! !
  2. AVV
    AVV 15 October 2013 12: 52
    By all means, the Yankees want to whitewash the activities of their troops, and those crimes around the world! And also gain new cannon fodder! All means are good for this! The Pentagon’s policy is in action, it doesn’t matter that the army has a huge train of murders all over the world !! !
  3. George
    George 15 October 2013 13: 04
    I read the memories of one of our soldiers (or officers) who fought in Afghanistan.
    He talked about the performance of Edita Pieha. She performed on stage, and nearby, when approaching, the helicopter crashed and burned. This happened before her eyes, after she sang and cried. The soldiers cried.
    APASUS 15 October 2013 21: 30
    In the United States, a powerful media resource is used to present the war as a "light walk", where they always show how cool it is to be GI
    APASUS 15 October 2013 21: 39
    And they don’t show at all what war is.