note: article originally appeared in June 2015, resurrected today.
One day last month on my way to work I saw a poster/sign on the back of a city transit bus and it just unsettled me. Actually, it was the advertisement content/message, which unsettled me.
Now, come on…this website is a “prepper” website. It is my intention that I provide you with the information to assist in preparing you, your family, and your group or community. That preparation is meant to help you survive disasters, emergencies and especially a “grid-down” event. Part of my self-imposed responsibility is to ensure that you see the big (macro) picture as well as the more subtle smaller (micro) events that take place around us.
When combined, those “pictures” represent Situational Awareness (SA) which then allows you to make higher quality decisions based on the most pertinent information. This article touches on one of those micro pictures that caught my attention enough that I felt the need to share some thoughts with you.
Advertising, by definition, is marketing communication that is intended to persuade people to take, or continue, action in an area such as commercial product/service or political/ideological agenda. Seems reasonable enough. Well, until you see the advertisement that I saw, then it gets a bit more complicated and a little more concerning. So here is the picture of the advertisement…
So, what are your first impressions?
When I first saw it I just absorbed it as a recruiting poster for the National Guard. Let me share with you that I come from very long line of military people. I am a veteran, my father served in two World Wars, my grandfather and great-grandfathers, great-uncles, etc. served as well. I have their pictures for WWI, a Marine even sneaked in there. I can trace back military men in my family tree all the way back to the American Revolution. So I am not some anti-military whack-job. However, that ad got into my head.
The primary message is “Join the Military Police” which is simple enough. Then the follow-up lines are “Enforce the Law” followed by “Keep the Peace.”
Couple subtle points:
- The first line, “Join the Military Police” is the action that they want the target audience to take. Makes sense, it appears to be a recruiting poster so they want you to join the National Guard. Simple enough.
- Then the next message they want to convey, “Enforce the Law.” What? Really? Think about it for a second, they are telling potential recruits that they will be enforcing the law.
- The final message line is “Keep the Peace.” Well, that certainly is a noble cause, yes? But here is a subtlety that I didn’t really see until I looked hard at the advertisement, this line about keeping the peace is the smallest font size on the poster in terms of messaging. And exactly where does the National Guard keep the peace?
- Now that I shared the messaging of the advertisement, let’s look at the visual included on the ad. The visual might be the most profound message of all. The picture consists of the following –
- An up-armored military Humvee
- A soldier in full battle gear
- A .50cal machine gun pointed directly at the person viewing the ad
Now let’s wrap the entire message together: Join the military police to enforce the law via a heavy weapon pointed directly at civilians. And by doing so you can keep the peace by imposing military strength and might upon whomever you wish…or are ordered to.
So what doesn’t the advertisement say?
- Doesn’t mention serving your country or community.
- Doesn’t show the serviceman helping anyone.
- It doesn’t show any interaction with people other than at the end of a heavy caliber machine gun.
- It doesn’t provide any message other than “force – comply or die!”
So what is the delivered message?
Well, I will leave it up to you to figure out in your own mind. But for me the message is clear:
- Join the National Guard so you can force people, including civilians, to comply by using heavy weapons against them.
- If you are a civilian, you will, you must, comply with military police or you will get shredded by heavy caliber machine gun rounds.
Now, you might say my interpretation is all wrong, and you might be right. But where is the National Guard intended to be used? Right here in the United States via the individual Governor’s offices. Yes, the National Guard can get mobilized to serve along side of the regular military overseas. But in the advertisement there is no mention of overseas, there is no mention of serving in a foreign country, and there is no mention of whose laws they will be enforcing.
To test my paranoia laced concept I thought I would do some research and see if the National Guard had used similar advertising in the past. You know, test my concept with actual hard data.
Turns out that my concept is not so paranoid after all. I couldn’t find a single example of a National Guard recruiting poster that was this outrageously militaristic against US citizens…comply or die. Not a single case, not one.
I had no alternative than come to the conclusion that the National Guard was accurately portraying the exact message it wanted to deliver:
Come join the National Guard, become a member of the military police, then you can enforce the law against US citizens with military armored vehicles and heavy machine guns. And doing so is the only option to keep the peace…comply or die.
Sometimes you just have to take the government at their word, believe the message that they are giving you. Or in this case, the conditioning that they are utilizing.
As a prepper, what do you do about all of this?
Nothing directly, there is no need to, probability no ability to. And anything you would try and do, such as call your Congressman or calling the National Guard to complain, would have zero effect. However, it would get your name known to the wrong folks, and you end up on yet another list.
So then what can be done?
You just be aware of things like this…government advertising. These subtle “moves” are actually messages designed to change the “culture” of America. And yes, change it for the worse. Remember the “Overton Window” concept…here it is, plain as day!
As with all aspects of government, politicians, etc. there are only two things that are important; money and power. Their view is with one you can gain the other. And they want a whole lot of both, maybe all.
So, as a prepper, you just keep doing what you are doing, moving forward each day in your quest to be prepared for emergencies, disasters, and especially when “grid-down” occurs.
Sure, you can speed up acquiring this or that piece of gear or equipment. You can accelerate getting the next case of freeze-dried food. Or you can learn the finer points of your Ham radio. But this single advertisement delivering an unsettling message isn’t a game changer in any sense of the word. It is simply another step in the direction that our government is pushing us.
Keep moving forward, make prepper progress and you will be fine. The nice thing is, by reading this article you may have just increased your Situational Awareness. And that is a very, very good thing of immense value.
note: In regards to this article…think about how quickly the National Guard willingly and readily moved to occupy Washington D.C. against US citizens after 1/6…and have stayed. Now, think about this 2015 advertisement again. Advertisement or prophecy?
2009 - 2021 Copyright © AHTrimble.com ~ All rights reserved No reproduction or other use of this content without expressed written permission from AHTrimble.com See Content Use Policy for more information.
Pingback: EXTREME DANGER ! | A.H. Trimble - Emergency preparedness information for disasters and grid-down
Great article. As a retired peace officer, I feel that the job of law enforcement and keeping the peace belong to local agencies (police, sheriff) not federal agencies or military. The add you saw really scares and concerns me about what is coming. I see too much corruption and overreach with the federal agencies. Lately they all seem hellbent on enforcing political agendas and unconstitutional ideals. Unfortunately I am also seeing some of the large police departments being used by corrupt mayors and police leadership to enforce political and unconstitutional agendas as well. We are in trouble my friend.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Brother, Amen! First off…thank you for your “peace officer” service. I know you personally…and I know you to be an honorable man who loves the Constitution. I also know what you are doing now…you are where the Lord needs and wants you…thank you! And you are spot on concerning the federal agencies. None of them, not a single one, is authorized in the Constitution…and we see why. The larger departments are a problem as you said…they are more like small armies than police forces. And that should scare the crap out of folks. Hang in there…keep up the good work…keep em safe. AH
The Army National Guard has long been one third of the “Total Army”. Regular Army, Army Reserve and Army National Guard. While the Army Reserve units are mainly Service Support the Army Guard units are organically, Combat Arms. You’ll not find a infantry battalion, Stryker Brigade, Apache (AH-64) Attack Helicopter squadron or infantry division in the Army Reserve portion of the US Army’s tripartite.
Unlike reservists who answer only to the Feds, Guard units have a dual mission i.e., to the governor of their state/territory AND the federal Department of Defense. When Guardsmen attend their weekend training they are paid based on active duty pay scales. The same federal pay scale applies to their annual training duty. Federal money not state dollars. When called to state “active duty” such as weather emergencies, isolated civil strife they are on a much reduced pay scale vs the federal active duty pay scale.
The Guardsmen assigned to secure D.C. are on FEDERAL ACTIVE DUTY. They are being paid courtesy of the taxpayers of the United States of America. They are NOT being paid by their state’s governor. If the state governors were paying their National Guard troops in D.C. (along with support costs) the D.C. debacle of military occupation would have long been over, if it would even had happened.
What I have noticed in the last 12-15 years is Guardsmen no longer identify with their state/territory. In the advertisements, in the media, on posters, on billboards, etc., Guardsmen are no longer defined with any state or territory ownership. The Pennsylvania Army National Guard, the Puerto Rico Army National Guard, Oregon Army National Guard and on and on and on no longer exist in the minds of the citizenry. Today the National Guard Bureau no longer identifies Guardsmen being from one particular state entity. They are being recognized, identified, advertised and reported as “National Guard”. Their association with ANY state or territory is/has been negated. There is a reason for that.
If one looks at the nametag on their uniforms across their heart it reads US. ARMY or US AIR FORCE.
The Guard are NOT militia ! They are federal troops paid, maintained and embedded in our cities, towns, counties, parishes courtesy the United States government. Most certainly, especially at flag rank, they will do as the puppet and illegitimate Beijing Biden orders.
LikeLiked by 2 people
So Dan, I like your reply and information you provided. Now, I wonder how closely what you described matches what our Founding Fathers found so objectionable and oppressive…a “standing army.”
“What, sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty. …Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins.” –Elbridge Gerry, Fifth Vice President of the United States
“Oppressors can tyrannize only when they achieve a standing army, an enslaved press, and a disarmed populace.” -James Madison
“No man has a greater regard for the military gentlemen than I have. I admire their intrepidity, perseverance, and valor. But when once a standing army is established in any country, the people lose their liberty. When, against a regular and disciplined army, yeomanry are the only defence [sic], — yeomanry, unskilful and unarmed, — what chance is there for preserving freedom? Give me leave to recur to the page of history, to warn you of your present danger. Recollect the history of most nations of the world. What havoc, desolation, and destruction, have been perpetrated by standing armies!” -George Mason, Constitutional Convention of 1787
“Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction.” – St. George Tucker
Some food for thought…AH
LikeLiked by 1 person