Military intelligence

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SEPTEMBER 29, 2012

I have a great deal of respect for many of those who serve our country in uniform, but I have nothing but contempt for the talentless individuals who write their advertisements, which evince little other than a failure to comprehend the usage of basic parts of speech:

As any grade-school student will tell you, “army” is a noun. While nouns can be effective (if not prescriptively correct) descriptors in some situations, this is never the case when the word being modified is an adjective (as “strong” obviously is). As a result, “Army Strong” is reduced to a meaningless two-word phrase. Presumably, the word “Army” is included to connote strength. What if the Army happens to be relatively weak at a given time? Such a scenario would render the advertisement paradoxical. One must wonder what the advertisers were thinking when they conceived this sorry, misguided slogan.

Previous slogans, while grammatically correct, are not much better: “Army of One” (which was rather short-lived due to notions that it discouraged teamwork) seems rather inconceivable, and “Be All You Can Be” (which was the Army’s slogan for more than 20 years) is decidedly unimaginative — what else can one possibly hope to be?

“Army Strong,” however, is undeniably superior to the Army’s recruitment slogan during much of the ’70s: “This is the Army.”

Well, obviously.

Contact Alex Wolinsky at 


SEPTEMBER 30, 2012