Navy Recruits Drag Queen as Digital Ambassador to Reach Wider Audience

The US Navy has recently come under fire for its decision to recruit an active-duty drag queen as part of an experiment using social media to improve recruitment.

In a novel move, Yeoman 2nd Class Joshua Kelley, also known as Harpy Daniels, has been appointed as the inaugural “Navy Digital Ambassador.”

This initiative, which took place from October 2022 to March 2023, marks a significant milestone in the Navy’s commitment to digital outreach.

Kelley, a social media influencer, regularly shares videos on his Instagram and TikTok profiles and is known for his outspoken support of the LGBTQ+ movement.

No Compensation

A new initiative featuring five active-duty personnel has been launched to “explore digital media to reach a broad spectrum of potential candidates.”

The Navy made it clear that no commercial or recruiting materials were produced during the initiative and no participants were compensated, according to a spokesperson.

The Navy is carefully assessing the pilot program to determine its future course.

The Navy recently updated its DEI policy, ensuring personnel feels linked to the mission and officials at all levels. The Navy is dedicated to fostering an inclusive culture that supports this mission.

The Navy plans to expand its ranks to 347,000 officers and enlisted sailors by 2024, an increase from the current 341,736 in fiscal year 2023.

The military has fallen short of its 2023 recruitment goal by 6,000 to 8,000 recruits, despite meeting its targets for the previous year by tapping into its delayed-entry pool.

Aimed At the Younger Generation

In response to the hardest recruiting atmosphere since the beginning of the all-volunteer force, the ambassador program has been implemented as part of a series of initiatives.

The Navy has recently initiated a campaign aimed at the younger generation, Gen Z, through social media platforms, television, and video streaming services.

Lieutenant Alexis Travis, whose areas of expertise include military leadership, DEI, and mental health, is also a part of the ambassador program. The Navy is optimistic that the program will aid in reaching out to a broader audience and enhance recruitment figures.

This article appeared in NewsHouse and has been published here with permission.