Friday, October 21, 2011

Those clever squids.

The U.S. Navy was only too happy to turn to and lend all the assistance Hollywood wanted for the movie Top Gun; make mock of the summertime blockbuster fighter pilot fantasy Tom Cruise vehicle all you want, but it was still packin’ em in at the MEPS years after it was no longer in theaters. Well into the early '90s the rank and file of the Navy's deck-swabbers and wrench-turners were full of kids who'd raised their right hand with a head full of fighter pilot dreams.

It looks like someone at the Navy remembers that:



Props to whoever greenlighted any official involvement with Top Gun In Swim Fins; it'll be the most effective recruiting poster the Navy's had in thirty years.

(H/T to Larry Correia.)

31 comments:

Robert said...

Having just gotten out of the Navy when the film was released, I couldn't get past all the glaring errors in it to enjoy it.

Tam said...

Robert,

You weren't the target audience. ;)

Duke said...

The kids that see this don't realize they have about 1 in a 1000 chance of doing what they see in the movie. The military will promise training or a chance to try out but never promise you will ever do the job.
21 years retired military, I know the tricks.

RipRip said...

Big difference these are not actors they used real Seals.

greg said...

It's exactly the same reason the military lent A LOT of hardware to Michael Bay for the Transformers movies.

Might be a bad example...enjoyable as I found them, they might actually drive enlistment down.

Tango Juliet said...

Yay squids! Be sure to get it guaranteed before you sign the dotted line.

Brad K. said...

Oh! How cool!

The follow-on trailer is for Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1!

I don't know that this will be the recruiting success as, say, The Village People's "In the Navy". In Top Gun the guy gets the girl. Highlighting the terror and grief of the families of lost servicemen doesn't seem to have the same romance and allure.

I joined because my Father served. That was what I knew about the Navy when I enlisted. And Dad didn't say much about his time in service (no combat, never got past Pearl Harbor).

Boat Guy said...

The only "guarantee" anyone's gonna get is PERHAPS an opportunity to show up on the Strand and start BUD/S. If folks have their eyes opened by this movie (which looks to be excellent) and still want to try out, then good on 'em.
I did a stint as a Recruiter. Since I was a Reservist, I didn't count for quota so I was kinda a freebie (GREAT summer gig in college), thus I could "afford" to tell the truth; "Parris Island is HARD but they haven't actually drowned anybody since the 50's" sort of thing figuring I might have to actually serve with some of these folks and didn't particularly want somebody who'd been duped into signing...

Stephen said...

Duke, as always we agree...but like Tam said, it'll make one hell of a recruiting film.

og said...

hell, if I had seen FMJ in 1975, I would have run away from home and gone to parris island.

Captain Tightpants said...

The interesting thing Tam is that a few years back Naval Special Warfare Command (the big bosses) caused a lot of stink in the community when they straight up said they would focus SEAL recruiting through Hollywood, as opposed to other outreach programs. A number of loud voices amongst the frogmen weren't fans of this approach, but they've obviously been overwhelmed or overruled. The other interesting recruiting approach has been through civilian/military "fitness courses" for want of a better word - things like SEAL Challenge which let prospective members get just an inkling of what they're in for.

On the other hand - it's a numbers game. BUD/S still has one of the highest attrition rates of any military course, yet the demand for operators is higher than ever. The only way to maintain standards yet increase numbers is to increase candidates coming in the door - it will be interesting to see how effective this approach is to doing so in the long-term.

I can say however that "The Hurt Locker" has been an effective EOD screening tool for people in my community - anyone coming in the door who thinks the job is like that can just keep going!

docjim505 said...

With regard to recruiters and their tricks and the odds of any recruit actually becoming a SEAL...

Yeah, it's true that military life ain't the glamour that Hollywood and the recruiters would have kids believe. On the other hand, if this film gets some reasonably bright and decent young man to join up to eventually become a competent aircraft machinists mate, SeaBee, radioman, etc. instead of loafing at college for five years trying to earn a degree in Bitter Womyns History, then both he and the country come out ahead.

og said...

Shit, I never wanted to be a pilot, or a seal, or anything like that, but after seeing FMJ I just wanted to be a Marine.

Of course it was too damned late for me by the time it came out.

Earl said...

Didn't see any cute cutup like Tom Cruise in there, can it sell? Hollywood does a lot of movies about how they view the military, some have been keepers and for this Veteran of failed American political policies, reality is better until the enemy twists you into piles of garbage because it happens.
Back to the coffee.

wv cupsa (that was what I said)

Divemedic said...

The military tricks young adults into thinking that everyone is either a commando or a computer technician, but glosses over the fact that they still need people to mop floors, cook meals, take out the trash, and clean toilets.

Before Top Gun came out (In the mid 80s), the Navy used the Nuclear power program to siphon smart college bound teens into the service, and then wash them out 80% of the time.

Then it was fighter pilots in the late 80s and early 90s, the medical field in the late 90s, and Spec War since 9-11.

freddyboomboom said...

Ah, yes...

AT3 "Guido" (not Italian, his last name was actually French) from AIMD, IM3, Shop 13, USS Midway (CV-41) joined the Navy because of Top Gun. He made no bones about it, and we didn't even give him much crap about it, either.

As for me, the chance to see the world was my main reason for joining Uncle Sam's Big Grey Canoe Club. And I definitely got to...

Matt G said...

Captain Tightpants puts it well: it's a numbers game.

You want the cream of the crop? You'd better push for bumper crops. And make clear: it's not a job for cupcakes, and there needs to be honor, because there are no referees to stop the game.

That's a tall order.

Forget not the international impact, as well. The entire world sees our movies (pop culture is one of the only things that we still export here). There's a certain PsyOps mission here, in addition to the public affiars goal, with the subtext reading loud and clear: Don't F with us. We've got lots of these guys, and they're the top 0.01%.

I like it. Hope it's made well, and becomes popular.

Ken said...

The fact that it's releasing in February (typically a movie graveyard) is puzzling.

Anonymous said...

"Shit, I never wanted to be a pilot, or a seal, or anything like that, but after seeing FMJ I just wanted to be a Marine.

Of course it was too damned late for me by the time it came out."

Holy crap, that's about as wannabe bench warmer "comes out" as it gets!

og said...

Holy crap, that's about as wannabe bench warmer "comes out" as it gets!

Yep, I never served. Which is no secret to anyone here.

Wouldn't stop me from cleaning your clock, if you ever had the balls to come out from behind the keyboard. I won't hold my breath.

Sport Pilot said...

Some troll’s are just stupid jerks with no life Og. Others are nutjobs that are convinced of their own self-perceived intellect and abilities. Both classes are craven cowards with no self-respect or integrity, living the most miserable of existences, desperate to “be somebody”. They’ve never been anything other than the self-abusing miscreants they’ll always be…
Sorry Tam, not trying to hijack your thread here …

og said...

yeah, Sport, Tam has a plethora that come here just to collect material to whine to their friends, IM'ing from one another's mom's basements, just how mean those chickenhawk neocon right whingers are. Mostly they lurk but they're quick t pounc when the self righteousness urge hits them.

wildman7316 said...

Was Stationed at NavSubScol New London when "Down Periscope" came out, STILL think it's the most accurate Submarine Movie I've ever seen. (I've served with ALL of those guys, they just had other names...) Yes, in the months and years to come I served with a number of people who admit to volunteering for Submarines because of that movie. It still amazes me the number of people who don't get that "I don't think you're good enough..." can be a POWERFUL incentive.

Firehand said...

There was a Marine Corps commercial a few years back, lots of scenes of people straining in training, combat in streets, using equipment interspersed with scenes of the Silent Drill Team. The audio was "We don't accept applications. Only commitments." One of the best recruiting commercials I've ever seen.

docjim505 said...

Firehand,

I've often thought that the Marines have the best commercials because they have the best attitude: "Can YOU hack being a Marine?"

Contrast that with the Army a few years ago ("Free money for college and job training!") and the horrible, laughable Air Force commercials that tried to assert that being in the USAF was as "like, totally KEWL, man!" as skateboarding, surfboarding, skydiving, etc. My father was in SAC; I was embarrassed for him and all the other Cold Warriors who spent endless hours in a missile silo, flying endless practice missions, or on the flight line doing a damned hard, stressful job because they knew it was important, NOT because it was, like, KILLER, man! TOTALLY rad!

Wayne said...

While you got me thinking of the SEALS

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China_Lake_Grenade_Launcher

Around the same time, CL engineers modded an Rem 1100 for full auto. Nobody could handle it.

Cargosquid said...

I enlisted in 83 because I needed a job and the PAPER had a job listing asking for Intel Officers...I thought, there's gotta be an enlisted job for that. And I made sure NOT to take the Nuke test....

25 years later, 3 years retired, and I still miss it.


I've always found it funny that the Army brings in hi-tech toys and mentions benefits at job fairs. The Marines bring a chin up bar.

There's always a line at the Marine Corp's booth.

HlynkaCG said...

Being a helicopter crewchief I wore a flight suit to work so despite being 1: enlisted, and 2: not the guy actually driving, I still benifited from the general aura of "coolness" that surrounds Top Gun.

A common question when we'd work an airshow was "What is your callsign?"

When I'd answer "Slink" people thought I was joking because in Top Gun Everyone has a COOL callsign and uses it in polite conversation.

You don't get to choose your callsign, Your squadron chooses your callsign. and even if you are fortunate enough to get a good one you don't walk around introducing yourself with it 'cause your mates would immediately change it.

the only callsign in that movie that i might expect to see on an actual flight sched. is "Goose".

My old detatchment roster...

"Airplan"
"Sweat"
"Big-Gulp"
"Fez"
"Raccoon"
"Skidmarks"
"Noodle"
"Shrek"
"Fiona" (Shrek's bitch)
"Webster"
"On-Demand"
"Ghiligan"
"Mongo"

Boat Guy said...

I enlisted when USMC was running "We Don't Promise You a Rose Garden" which can still be seen on youTube. Worked on me.
Other than the skin tone and relative height of the DI in the poor dumb kid's face I lived that advert for 13 weeks.
Good stuff, that.
Rog on "callsigns"; there's few things lamer than someone introducing themselves with one...

craig said...

"The military tricks young adults into thinking that everyone is either a commando or a computer technician, but glosses over the fact that they still need people to mop floors, cook meals, take out the trash, and clean toilets."

You mean like this, from the old SNL?

bob r said...

USMC: "We Don't Promise You a Rose Garden"

USMC: "We don't accept applications. Only commitments."