Most Marine Corps recruiting commercials have not shown female Marines fighting – until now.
The latest commercial "Battle Up" shows the evolution of a female Marine, starting when she is a young girl stopping bullies at school, through her days as a rugby player and ultimately as a convoy commander, leading her Marines as they fight through an ambush. It ends showing her as a vet helping the homeless.
"Marines don't back down from a fight – whether personal, in combat, or when confronted with injustice; Marines fight and win the battles they face throughout their lives," Marine Corps Recruiting Command spokesman Lt. Col. John Caldwell said in a news release.
The new commercial comes after female poolees and recruits told market researchers between that there was a disparity between how male and female Marines were depicted in recruiting material, Jonathan Chavez, co-founder and chief analytics officer with the analytics company Social Sphere, told Marine Corps Times in April 2016.
"One of the things that we heard in particular is that depictions of females up to that point in Marine Corps advertising had largely depicted females in training environments," Chavez said. "Male advertising — or general market advertising — also featured Marines actually in service, in fleet, doing their jobs."
"Battle Up" makes clear that the Marines are looking for fighters, and that includes highly motivated women.
"No one knows where it comes from; why some have it and some don’t: It’s the fighting spirit, and it needs to be fed," a narrator says in a voice-over. "It consumes fear, self-doubt and weakness. It stands ready to protect those in danger and to fight whatever shape the battle takes."
Capt. Erin Demchko, who plays the convoy commander in the commercial, has served on a Female Engagement Team in Afghanistan, a Defense Department news story says. Her awards include the Combat Action Ribbon.
"I fight every day to sharpen my mind, strengthen my body, and to take care of the Marines to my right and left," Demchko said in the news release. "My fighting spirit is the continuous drive that I have to accomplish my mission."