Critics Say Army Guard's New Recruiting Logo Driven by School Anti-Gun Policy

The new recruiting logo (Ieft) has a black background with "Army National Guard" displayed over a gold star. It replaces the original logo (right), which features the image of a Revolutionary War Minuteman. (Images: U.S. Army National Guard)
The new recruiting logo (Ieft) has a black background with "Army National Guard" displayed over a gold star. It replaces the original logo (right), which features the image of a Revolutionary War Minuteman. (Images: U.S. Army National Guard)

Critics claim the Army National Guard's recent redesign of its recruiting logo is an attempt to disassociate itself from firearms when trying to convince young people to become citizen soldiers.

While the National Guard seal features the image of a Revolutionary War Minuteman, the new recruiting logo boasts a black background with "Army National Guard" displayed over a gold star.

A recent Small Wars Journal article stated that the Guard could not use the Minuteman logo in schools anymore because it contains an image of a firearm.

"Due to 'no tolerance' policies concerning the display of images of firearms in schools, the traditional Minuteman logo could not be displayed due to inclusion of an 18th-century flintlock rifle," the article states.

Guns.com also posted a story on the issue.

National Guard officials say the recruiting logo was changed to satisfy a mandate from Army leadership directing the Guard to alter its recruiting brand to look more like the Army's logo, which features a prominent gold and white star on a black background above the words "U.S. Army."

They declined to address questions about reported concerns regarding firearms imagery.

"We were given the mandate to align our marketing with the total Army and, while the new logo differentiates itself from the Army logo, it does carry certain elements into it in terms of the color, some of the font and the star," said Lt. Col. Wes Parmer, a spokesman for the Army National Guard.

The Minuteman seal will continue to represent the Army National Guard as an organization, officials said.

When the new recruiting logo was rolled out in December, "it seems like some folks thought that that was meant to replace the traditional Minuteman seal, and it's not," said Master Sgt. W. Michael Houk, a spokesman for the National Guard Bureau.

The move to a new recruiting logo is "really about reaching the audience that we are trying to recruit from these days and what resonates with them," Parmer said.

"What is true is that the Minuteman, when testing it with focus groups, the image of the Minuteman didn't resonate well; it wasn't well understood or recognized," he said. "The new brand aligns itself more with what the active-duty Army component is doing."

-- Matthew Cox can be reached at matthew.cox@military.com.

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