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Marine Corps ‘Shifting Threats’ Campaign Highlights New Technology Focus

Still image from the Marines’ ‘Shifting Threats’ ad campaign released on Oct. 27, 2022.

The Marine Corps adaptability is necessary for the changing world, according to the service’s new recruiting campaign, which launched online Thursday and will air Saturday during the University of Georgia vs. University of Florida football game. 

The advertising campaign, “Shifting Threats,” features Marines as they adapt to the more technologically sophisticated world in scenes that look to be out of a video game. The ad shows modern techniques like how Marines use and destroy drones against the backdrop of traditional Marine Corps missions like amphibious landings, humanitarian aid and disaster relief and infantry operations in harsh weather.

“The future is threatened by enemies often unrelenting, unexpected and unpredictable,” the video’s narrator says. “In the midst of an uncertain and evolving world, the need for Marines to defeat these shifting threats is critical because the need to ensure stability for our nation has never been greater. When there are battles to win for America’s future, there is one constant. Marines.”

In designing the ads, the goal was to highlight what Marines are and do in a way that would make sense for the general public but also entice people to join the Marines, according to a release announcing the campaign.

The service is facing a tight recruiting environment, a challenge shared by all branches. The Marine Corps met its Fiscal Year 2022 recruiting goals, with 33,210 new enlisted active-duty Marines and 4,602 enlisted reservists. The Marine Corps also commissioned 1,705 officers, according to a service news release.

The Marine Corps turned its attention to recruiting in the past fiscal year, an effort part of Talent Management 2030, which falls under Force Design 2030. The Marines also hit its retention goals early, the service announced in July.

The service aimed to get 5,820 Marines on their initial contracts to reenlist, while the retention goal for Marines with four to 20 years of service was 5,417, USNI News previously reported.

Under Talent Management 2030, the Marines are beginning to shift away from the small, quick turnover force that has been the standard and instead looking to retain service members for a longer period of time, USNI News reported.

Although the Marines are focusing on retention, the force will still shrink, with Force Design 2030 calling for a reduced force of 175,000 Marines.

The campaign video itself is focused on highlighting aspects of Force Design 2030, including putting technology in the hands of individual Marines to make decisions on targeting enemy assets.

Featured in the video is the Marine Air Defense Integrated System (MADIS). In 2019, the Marines took out an Iranian drone from 1,000 yards away during a Strait of Hormuz transit using MADIS aboard USS Boxer (LHD-4). The system uses electronic jammers, radars and gun systems, to take out the drone, USNI News previously reported.

A similar situation plays out in the ad with Marines using a handheld device to take out enemy drones. The conclusion of the video shows an infantry Marine helping target an unspecified enemy ship to be sunk by an F-35B Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter.

The Marine Corps video is available on YouTube, and the “Shifting Threats” campaign will use online and television advertising as well as social media. Unlike the Navy, the Marine Corps still advertises on television.