GCN LAB IMPRESSIONS
With new recruiting app, the Army is going to tempt me yet
The armed forces, and the Army in particular, have a rich history of recruiting. They almost even snagged me. The Army goes beyond mere TV commercials to promote projects that appeal to young people, like the America's Army computer game it developed a few years ago. So it was no great surprise to me when I found the Army was getting into comics -- creating ones that run as an iPhone or Android app.
And, after watching the Army's new American's Army comic app, I almost wish I would have raised my right hand.
You see, many years ago, I came as close as anyone can possibly get to joining the Army -- without actually doing it. I had taken the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery and related tests for each service and scored very well. My plan was to join ROTC in college and then join up after graduation. The Navy had a slot for me for their nuclear program, and the Army offered me a job in intelligence. Because my father was a military police officer during World War II, I favored the Army. I cleared the physicals and was ready to go.
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However, when I was standing in the room with the other recruits, something told me I needed to think about my plan a bit more. As everyone else raised their right hand to be sworn in, I ducked out of the room. Let's just say it was a long ride back home with my recruiter.
In some ways, and on some days, I regret that decision. Whenever I visit a military base, I see the soldiers with their equipment lined up, and part of me feels the pull of the road not traveled. And the now the Army isn't making it any easier by the launching those new America's Army Web Apps for the iOS
The comic shows many the cool things the Army does, and if you get the app, new comics will automatically be updated as they become available.
And the comic itself is pretty amazing too. It's created by the same team that made the America's Army multiplayer game
, which was a lot of fun itself. The comic plays some authentic sound effects during combat and has a great musical score to get your blood pumping. And it's also interactive, letting readers dig into more information about the individual jobs being shown.
Of course, the comic also features some of the really impressive technology, gear and weapons that the Army uses. And every comic is approved by working soldiers to make sure that everything is highly accurate.
The first episode is called Knowledge is Power, and it finds our brave troops deployed to the war-torn region of Czervenia, which is the same place the game takes place. A long-range reconnaissance team sees something that should have been better hidden -- an impending threat that could jeopardize the mission and endanger the entire world. The action picks up from there.
I enjoyed the comic, and if I were young again, it might tempt me to head back over to the recruiting station, which is doubtless what the comic is designed to do. I still believe the Army offers a good career, and this new comic will help young people explore those options. Perhaps some will take that one final step that eluded me, and become part of the next generation of American heroes.