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The US Navy resorted to Pokémon Go as a recruitment strategy

Courtesy Steve Smith/U.S. Navy
Likely not available for Poókemon Go missions.
  • Annalisa Merelli
By Annalisa Merelli

Senior reporter based in New York City

Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Do you like to catch Pokémons around the world? Uncle Sam wants you!

Or so it would appear, judging from a recent recruitment campaign by the US Navy.

A picture circulating online shows a black and white recruitment poster promoting joining the Navy as the ultimatePokémon-catching opportunity. “The US Navy has the ability to take you around the world, allow you to play Pokémon Go, and help you achieve the goal of becoming a Pokémon master!” reads the poster:

This is somewhat different from the official mission of the Navy, which is defined as “to maintain, train and equip combat-ready Naval forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression and maintaining freedom of the seas.” Indeed, the Navy was quick to realize this recruiting campaign may be a little misleading, and in a email statement it said that “some recruiters made a bad decision in attempting to use the current Pokémon phenomenon to recruit Sailors for the Navy,” and that these messages have been removed from recruiting pages on Facebook as they do not represent the Navy’s values.

Recruiting for the military is becoming increasingly harder. The email pointed out that the “Navy Recruiting Command very much encourages innovation and empowerment with our recruiters.” Indeed, the Pokémon campaign doesn’t seem so out of line with other military recruitments: A few months ago, a Hollywood-style, sci-fi video promoted recruiting for the Army in the context of fighting aliens.

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