Invasion of the Cyber Seductress

The Navy is looking for a match or two — in cyberspace. The sea siren is trawling for prospects — officer, enlisted, active, and reserve — with “jobs” at the mega-job superstore 

Not looking to join the Navy? Well, she’s on the prowl for you. If you’ve posted a resume on and your search criteria match one of the Navy’s postings, BAM! You’re on her radar screen. You’ll get an e-mail telling you there’s a match. (Your heart races. You’re overcome by desire. A match?! But who … ?) Some of the e-mails note the company is the U.S. Navy, but the latest hits say “Company Confidential,” which makes your heart race all the more. (Company Confidential. A mystery match.) N’important. Of course you’re going to check it out. (This could be love.) You bring up the ad. It’s hot. It’s slick. It’s sexy. It’s an enlistment ad, but that fact is obscured by her long, lean lines. This is exactly the match you’ve been looking for. You can hear her sultry voice as you read, and there’s nary a mention of the Navy or the fact that you need to enlist (like, be a sailor) or go to boot camp (or, like, be on a ship) — all those things that could make a seemingly perfect match go south. Regardless, you’re smitten, so you click “Apply Now” and staring at you is a stark, general screen asking for contact info. How cruel! Where did she go? 

If you succumb and submit, we suspect someone will contact you with information about the Navy — not about that job that sent you rushing head first into this relationship: “Gather facts and write articles for publications. Write, edit and proofread news for radio and TV. Write and produce radio and television programs.” Take me now! 

Bait-and-switch? Not really. This tactic is smart, though a tad underhanded. There is a larger problem: The true benefits of military service are intangible. Once the services start pushing job specifics — something they really cannot deliver, customer satisfaction plummets and you end up with dissatisfied recruits who complain to friends and family. Maybe those who sign up at the prospect of anchoring the network news will fail to ship off to boot camp when reality hits them. Maybe they don’t complete their term of enlistment. We understand the reality of recruiting as well as the very real challenges the services face long term.
Such ads might open an opportunity to those who might never have considered military service. So, why not sell intangibles? Even the most magnificent tarnish and fade with age. Intangibles have classic, timeless beauty.

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