April 20th, 2011 | Uncategorized

How to get Yalies to join the Army? An alum has answers

Remember that ROTC table at the Bulldog Days bazaar? Thomas E. Ricks ’77 “felt sorry” for the officers stationed there, he wrote in a Wednesday Foreign Policy blog post. The Reserve Officers’ Training Corps wasn’t bound to be a hit, he said:

Check out that defensive body language. I don’t think trinkets for the natives is the way to go.

The playful post explains how he would make joining the Army appeal to Yalies. The key, he says, lies in presenting the “intellectual, physical and moral challenges” of Army service. Doing that means presenting literature by Army officers (think “Eating Soup with a Knife”) on the same table as stacks of military gear (“battle rattle”), with a banner asking if “you can handle both” the books and the garb. We like to believe we can handle anything, having survived Toad’s and mid-afternoon lectures.

More perceptiveness follows. “A follow-up question: “Wanna be part of the defining event of your generation?” ” is the next part of Ricks’ plan, one bound to attract droves of Type-As.

Perhaps the most effective would be Ricks’ last recommendation, a pitch that taps into the Yalie need to assert one’s individuality — “Hey Ivy Leaguers, wanna really freak out your parents? Join the Army!” Teen angst never fails. Just ask Third Eye Blind at Spring Fling.