An investigation by Alan MacLeod, senior staff writer at MintPress News, shows how the US military is using young women to lure Gen Z recruits into service through sexually suggestive content on social media. One of the main influencers highlighted is Hailey Lujan, who posts videos in “true Gen-Z style” that glorify the role of a soldier in the Army to her 731,000 TikTok followers, MacLeod reported.
Many of Lujan’s posts are sensual videos that downplay her actual responsibilities as a soldier. Truth in recruitment activist Rosa del Duca, a veteran, told MintPress she was surprised that the military was letting Lujan post ‘unprofessional’ content in uniform. Lujan’s social media recruitment campaign takes place as Army enlistment numbers have dipped 25 percent below target.
Secondary characters in MacLeod’s MintPress News report include military policewoman Juliana Keding and Air Force medic Rylee, both of whom post thirst traps about military life to their 900,000 and 468,000 TikTok followers respectively. A significant detail in the story is that Lujan and Rylee are both psychological operations specialists, and many of their videos play with the irony of the relationship between their social media content and their military job descriptions. This story raises several other relevant ethical questions about just exactly how the military is using social media (or allowing service members) to lure new, young recruits for its ongoing missions around the globe with highly suggestive, pro-service propaganda.
As of July 2, 2023, there was no corporate coverage of this story, and the only article on this specific recruitment tactic was by MacLeod at MintPress News.
Source: Alan MacLeod, “From Simp to Soldier: How the Military is Using E-Girls to Recruit Gen Z into Service,” MintPress News, June 1, 2023.
Student Researcher: Ashton Sidford (Diablo Valley College)
Faculty Evaluator: Mickey Huff (Diablo Valley College)