Battling the Storm Within

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

These candid photos of American women in the military defy propaganda, and expectations

It was the dawning of a new era, Reagan’s America, and the U.S. Army wanted a new breed of soldiers capable of handling the challenges of a Cold War that was heating up. The resulting “Be All You Can Be” recruitment campaign launched in 1981, selling a high-tech, fast-paced world of limitless potential, adventure, and self-determination. Be brave. Be strong. Be a man.

Efforts to appeal to the other half of the nation’s citizenry were a little less slick. Although women were allowed to begin joining the Army through the Women’s Army Corps during WWII, official recruitment ads mirrored feminized home-front propaganda of the day. Blue-eyed blondes wearing


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