The Marine Corps has released a new television ad aimed at changing the perception that they are less than female friendly.
The ad begins with a young school girl dealing with bullies and playing high school sports.
It then shows the same young woman as a Marine, making her way through below-freezing water, under barbed wire and through an underwater drain pipe, all while dressed in full combat gear and carrying her M-16 rifle.
Lt. Col. John Caldwell, spokesman for Marine Corps Recruiting Command said, the ad is designed to send a simple message — and it’s not just about gender.
“Marines don’t back down from a fight – whether personal, in combat, or when confronted with injustice,” Caldwell said. “Marines fight and win the battles they face throughout their lives.”
Marine Capt. Erin Demchko, who participated in the ad, was humbled by the opportunity.
“I am extremely humbled to be a part of such a big production,” Demchko said. “Professional actors can keep their jobs, though. I’d rather be a Marine.”
As with any number of challenges that Marines face, Demchko said the conditions for filming were challenging.
“The water was 27 degrees and coated with a layer of thick ice,” Demchko said. “Giving the film production staff what they wanted, while maintaining my bearing as a Marine officer and trying not to look cold, was a challenge.”
Demchko said being a Marine means staying focused.
“I fight every day to sharpen my mind, strengthen my body, and to take care of the Marines to my right and left,” she said. “My fighting spirit is the continuous drive that I have to accomplish my mission.”
The hope is that the new ad will entice more women to choose to become one of “the few, the proud.” The Marine Corps hopes to have at least 10 percent of its force consist of females by 2019. Currently, women account for 8.3 percent of the 183,000 Marines.
Maj. Gen. Paul Kennedy, head of Marine Corps Recruiting Command, urges new recruits to “not think that we are only looking for a few good men, that we’re actually using all of our recurring efforts to find good women as well.”