Overthe past few years, the marketing strategies used by the Departmentof Defense (DOD) have raised issues about the efficacy of the processand its overall impact in consideration to the taxpayers’ moneyspent. In 2016, Senator McCain and Senator Flake published a jointreport following an investigation into the matter. In the report, thesenators observe that, while the paid patriotism programs by theMilitary might indeed promote the community outreach and ensurerecruitments, they do not follow the standard protocol of monitoringand evaluation. Moreover, the report argues that such undertakingsmight lead to the redefinition of the social patriotism thuswarranting related expenditures in the future. Over the history,professional players, coaches, and teams did DOD marketing as theircivic duty to promote cohesion between the communities and themilitary. The report by McCain and Flake sees the paid patriotism asan unwarranted fraud on taxpayers’ money when there are optionsthat are more appropriate.
Thetheory of symbolic interactionism theory helps to explain theinteractions between the DOD and the professional teams as amarketing strategy. The theory posits that through interactions,individuals learn their role in the society through enumeration,affiliation, and conformity. The theory focuses specifically onstructural communication with abstract meanings to allow the socialactors to make independent decisions. It is unarguably true that theinteraction between the youths and the professional players createsan urge for affiliation. By associating with these teams, the DODcreates an efficient platform for recruitments. Unlike thetraditional communities in America, the prolonged period of peacethreatens the social recognition of the military. While suchloyalties are accorded to successful players, expenditure to regainsocial standards is necessary.
Ina letter to the Senate dated June 2014, the DOD Public Affairspresented a report that showed that most of the recruitment targetsare only reachable through sports and affiliations. The reportfiguratively indicated that more than 65% of the targeted youths withgood background watch professional basketball and 44% were loyal fansof their team. Out of the paid patriotism campaigns since 2012,approximately 24% of the youths who attended remembered the DODsponsorship and retained a degree of affiliation and admiration(McCain & Flake, 2016). Moreover, such attempts also change theperception of the social influencers. As explained in symbolicinteractionism theory, coaches, teachers, and successfulpersonalities have a higher degree of influencing the social actionsof the youths.
However,despite the necessity of these promotions, it is the duty of the DODto ensure minimal expenditure of the taxpayers’ money. The reportby McCain and Flake disapproves the use of the marketing resources topromote military individuals rather than the DOD as an institution.Similarly, at the request of the Senate, the DOD accounted for only66% of the resources directed to paid patriotism thus leaving gapsfor embezzlement. Following these facts, I opine that the Senateshould allow the DOD to run a limited marketing strategy withspecific objectives and 100% accountability.
Asthe social settings change, the general flow of loyalties andexpectations change. It is thus the duty of the social entities tocome up with counter actions to maintain their positions. Thedecisions by DOD follow general interaction theory that challengestheir recruitment processes. However, accountability in suchoccasions is crucial to ensure the trust between the DOD and thepublic.
McCain, S. J.,& Flake, S. J. (2016). Tackling .
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