Jewish World Review August 10, 2004 / 25Menachem-Av, 5764

Dean P. Johnson

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Will our evolving military finally change its recruitment campaign?


http://www.jewishworldreview.com | AH - TEN - HUT! RIGHT FACE! (And I'm not talking about a clockwise pivot either.) According to an article in the July 26 issue of the New Yorker, our military offers as a benefit free cosmetic surgery. That means just about anyone serving in the armed forces could turn an ugly mug into a right face.


One might think that with the current strain on our military due to by operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, this benefit would be a tremendous draw for volunteers. However, officials seem to be reluctant to highlight this perk.


The chief of plastic surgery at Brooke Army Medical Center, Dr. Bob Lyons, was reported in the article as saying the army did not offer free cosmetic surgeries like breast enhancements and liposuction to attract anyone to military service, and he "would be disappointed with the maturity of the young women in this country if they're joining the service with the thought of getting breast augmentations."


If our armed forces want to maintain that their cosmetic surgery benefit for military personnel and their dependents is not an enticement for recruitment, then they are out of step with the American rank and file.


According to the recent American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery's Procedural Survey, its members treated over 870,000 patients in 2003, a 6.7% increase from 2002. The survey showed an increase of 6.3% in liposuctions and an 8.5% increase in breast augmentations. With such growth potential, why wouldn't the military want to tap into this demographic?

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I can see the recruitment campaigns now: Guaranteed weight loss by the end of a soldier's commitment if not by exercise and diet then certainly by scalpel. Highlighted facial features of John Wayne and Gary Cooper in full grunt regalia on giant billboards with the logo, "Your face? Here." Bumper stickers with phrases like "Be All You Couldn't Be," and "An Army of Wonderwork," and "The Few, The Fabulous, The Marines."


What could possibly be holding back the Department of Defense? This is tax money well invested. After consulting famed Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Richard Fleming's annual list of his clients' most requested adjustments, our fighting forces will hold an advantage unlike no other. Just imagine how enemies will be caught off guard when platoons of soldiers with Brad Pitt's eyes, Dylan McDermott's cheekbones, and Johnny Depp's jawline advance upon them reinforced by companies whose members have Heather Locklear's nose, Denise Richard's lips and Cate Blanchett's chin.


Long after the supplemented soldier has been discharged from service, the taxpayers' investment can only keep on reaping rewards. Not only will the new veterans possess teamwork and leadership skills, they will now be one of the beautiful people which will give them a step up in society because only attractive people become rich and famous.


The richest man in the world, Bill Gates, has that popular nerdy look going for him, and the second richest, Warren Buffett, has that distinguished, older, wild eyebrow thing happening that makes him attractive like bulldogs and trolls are attractive. Just look at the top five most famous people according to Forbes (in order): Mel Gibson, Tiger Woods, Oprah, Tom Cruise and The Rolling Stones - all beautiful people noting that The Rolling Stones enjoy the Warren Buffett effect.


Our US military has in their mitts a means to create not only the strongest force in the world, but the best looking. I say go for it! Seek out the homely and the unattractive, lure them with visions of handsome glamour, and increase our military's numbers and aesthetic value at the same time.


Instead of merely using what we got, let's go get what we can really use because, in the end, it's all about face.



JWR contributor Dean P. Johnson's columns appear in Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, Hartford Courant, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, San Francisco Examiner, Newark (NJ) Star-Ledger, Atlantic City Press, Philadelphia Inquirer among other smaller papers. Comment by clicking here.

Up

08/04/04: Advertising my family
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03/31/04: My kids have been watching the news again!
03/26/04: Why are we still annoying Americans with metrics?

© 2004, Dean P. Johnson