Recruiting G.I. Jane

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0045332/00001

Material Information

Title: Recruiting G.I. Jane an Analysis of the United States Military's Advertising Messages on Recruitment Websites
Physical Description: 1 online resource (182 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Hanlon, Christine Lynn
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2013


Subjects / Keywords: military -- recruitment -- women
Journalism and Communications -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Mass Communication thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation


Abstract: Military organizations in the United States have recentlyincreased their active recruitment of individuals from marginalized groups(Bumiller, 2011), especially women. Recruitment resources have increased overthe past few years (Elliott, 2008);therefore, the military has more opportunities for advertising to women, particularly via the Web. Because recruitment efforts were traditionally focused on a heterosexual male audience, it is important to analyze how military organizations are changing their recruitment efforts to target specific groups, particularly women. Using a feminist lens, the goal of this dissertation is to analyze the message of Web-based military recruitment materials that target women and to understand how women interpret these messages. All branches of the U.S. armedforces, including the Air Force, Army, Marines, and Navy, are currently recruiting women into various positions, from reserve assignments to officer ranks. Thus, analyzing recruitment materials from different branches will provide an opportunity to compare and contrast the recruitment methods employed to recruit women.   The United States military has been actively engaged in Web-based recruitment and those strategies have been cost-effective. For example, in 2002, the Army received 14 thousand leads viathe Web, which led to 14 hundred enlistments (Kiger, 2005). Recruiting Command spokesperson S. Douglas Smith noted that the "1-in-10 ratio is the best ofany station in the recruiting command" (Kiger, 2005, p. 31). Thus,Web-based recruitment strategies require further investigation because they areproving to be highly effective tools for the United States military. To analyze how the United States military is advertising to women via the Web, a qualitative content analysis was conducted to generate themes that are currently used in Web-based materials intended to recruit women. Additionally, to gain an understanding of how women interpret these Web-basedmessages, in-depth interviews were conducted with young women who were being actively recruited by the United States military.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Christine Lynn Hanlon.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2013.
Local: Adviser: Duke, Lisa Lee.

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Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2013
System ID: UFE0045332:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0045332/00001

Material Information

Title: Recruiting G.I. Jane an Analysis of the United States Military's Advertising Messages on Recruitment Websites
Physical Description: 1 online resource (182 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Hanlon, Christine Lynn
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2013


Subjects / Keywords: military -- recruitment -- women
Journalism and Communications -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Mass Communication thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation


Abstract: Military organizations in the United States have recentlyincreased their active recruitment of individuals from marginalized groups(Bumiller, 2011), especially women. Recruitment resources have increased overthe past few years (Elliott, 2008);therefore, the military has more opportunities for advertising to women, particularly via the Web. Because recruitment efforts were traditionally focused on a heterosexual male audience, it is important to analyze how military organizations are changing their recruitment efforts to target specific groups, particularly women. Using a feminist lens, the goal of this dissertation is to analyze the message of Web-based military recruitment materials that target women and to understand how women interpret these messages. All branches of the U.S. armedforces, including the Air Force, Army, Marines, and Navy, are currently recruiting women into various positions, from reserve assignments to officer ranks. Thus, analyzing recruitment materials from different branches will provide an opportunity to compare and contrast the recruitment methods employed to recruit women.   The United States military has been actively engaged in Web-based recruitment and those strategies have been cost-effective. For example, in 2002, the Army received 14 thousand leads viathe Web, which led to 14 hundred enlistments (Kiger, 2005). Recruiting Command spokesperson S. Douglas Smith noted that the "1-in-10 ratio is the best ofany station in the recruiting command" (Kiger, 2005, p. 31). Thus,Web-based recruitment strategies require further investigation because they areproving to be highly effective tools for the United States military. To analyze how the United States military is advertising to women via the Web, a qualitative content analysis was conducted to generate themes that are currently used in Web-based materials intended to recruit women. Additionally, to gain an understanding of how women interpret these Web-basedmessages, in-depth interviews were conducted with young women who were being actively recruited by the United States military.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Christine Lynn Hanlon.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2013.
Local: Adviser: Duke, Lisa Lee.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2013
System ID: UFE0045332:00001

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2 2013 Christine L. Hanlon


3 To my children, Mika and Juliana, and my life partner, Arnold. Your inspiration and motivation is acknowledged and ap preciated more than you will ever realize. This is "our" dissertation.


4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS First and foremost, I would like to thank my doctoral committee at the University of Florida. Dr. Lisa Duke Cornell of the Advertising faculty served as both my Adv isor and methods committee member. Without her guidance and enthusiasm, this dissertation would not have been possible. Dr. Spiro Kiousis of the Public Relations faculty served as the mass communication specific committee member. His Persuasion course was key to developing the persuasion theoretical foundation section of this dissertation. Dr. Kim Walsh Childers of the Journalism faculty served as the mass communication general committee member. Her personal knowledge and experience with the military (both as a n ROTC student and as a member of a military family) helped me gain a thorough understanding of the military culture. Dr. Anita Anantharam of the Women's Studies faculty served as the outside area committee member. Her Advanced Feminist Theory course w as the very last course that I took at UF and aided me in strengthening the feminist approach of this dissertation. This project would not have been possible without the participation of the young women in CAP and JROTC programs who selflessly provided th eir input. All of the young women were far more determined, motivated, and goal oriented than I was at that time in my life. I respect and admire each of them far more than they likely realize. I hope they all have successful experiences and remain safe du ring their time in the United States military. Our military will be stronger due to their efforts and their service is greatly appreciated. Many CAP and JROTC leaders graciously introduced me to young women in their programs. I appreciate their willingnes s and dedication to helping me improve the


5 that specific information may reveal the identities of some of the participants. I was genuinely impressed with the CAP and J ROTC programs that I had the pleasure to visit and my experiences made me confident that the United States military will remain strong. Thank you for your service. In addition, I want to acknowledge the assistance of the UF staff and students. Jody Hedge was particularly helpful and I greatly appreciated her assistance throughout the doctoral program. I also want to thank members of the UF doctoral program cohort, particularly Joy Rogers. I am grateful for her motivation, enthusiasm, and friendship. I wou ld also like to thank the UCF community for their support. More specifically, I would not have had the opportunity to excel if it had not been for the continuous support of many leaders from the Nicholson School of Communication, particularly Carol Bledsoe Bob Chandler, Shari Hodgson, Rita Graham, Mike Johnson, Boyd Lindsley, Mike Meeske, John O'Hara, Phil Taylor and Bruce Whisler Furthermore, I would like to thank my UCF colleagues for helping me through this process Our casual conversations have been more helpful than you realize. I would like to also thank the NSC staff for their support throughout the past 15 years of my teaching career. The UCF community has been unbelievably supportive and I particularly want to recognize the individual assistance of Melody Bowden (Faculty Center), Al Bross (Testing), Tracy Dietz (Sociology & IRB), Terri Fine (Political Science), Jana Jasinski (Sociology), Shirley Leckie (History), Eric Main (Faculty Center), Bill Phillips (Course Development), M.C. Studies), Betty Tallen (Diversity Issues), and Kevin Yee (Faculty Center). Thank you also to the UCF students who heard about my research and brought interesting articles to my attention, particularly Sara Sheperd (COM1000 Fall


6 2011 ) who brought the Mars ma n article to my attention. I am also indebted to the University of Central Florida's Faculty Affairs staff and Professional Development Leave committee for the release time and financial assistance necessary for completing this doctoral program. There w ere many teachers who inspired me and acknowledged my intellect, particularly Mrs. Titelbaum (Burnell Elementary School) Sister Ann (Divine Mercy Catholic School) Ms. Lorraine Novak (Merritt Island High School), Mrs. Harrison (Cocoa Beach High School) D an McCook (Flagler College WFCF), and Dr. Robin King (Flagler College Philosophy) Though I may not have acknowledged it at the time, I was empowered by the honors and knowledge that you bestowed upon me. P rofessional friends have also helped me mak e it to this point in the process, particularly Sue Easton (FCA & Rollins College), and Linda Sexton Nusbaum (Southern College). Your friendship and leadership has been much appreciated. I would also like to acknowledge my best friend from childhood, Jol ie Sprague. Jolie constantly strived for excellence in her academics and she always inspired me. When we were in elementary school, Jolie read a book to an audience in the Bridgewater State College auditorium. On that day, she exemplified Eleanor Roosevelt 's famous quote "No one can make you fee l inferior without your consent. My loving and supportive family has provided a strong foundation for my success As a child, my mother first introduced me to higher education through summer programs at Bridgewat er State College. These first glimpses into academia were particularly important because our family did not have previous experiences with higher education. These experiences helped to break down some of the psychological barriers


7 that could have prevented me from ever attending college. support and motivation throughout my college years has been greatly appreciated as well Without my parent s financial assistance, I would not have made it through Flagler College. Most importantly, I want to thank my life partner, Arnold Noorlander. He is my best friend, my greatest critic, and my loudest cheerleader. It is with great patience and determination that he has motivated and encouraged me throughout the doctoral program, and in life, in general. Although our greatest achievements in life are represented by our beautiful children, Mika and Juliana, this dissertation comes in as a close second. He made the home school work life balance a lot easier to navigate. I also want to express my gra titude to Mika and Juliana. Although most of this was too complicated for you to understand, I hope that you do not remember the times when Mommy was absent over the past few years. There were many times that I felt my psychological absence was more damagi ng than my physical absence. Please forgive me for not providing my attention 100% of the time. The completion of this milestone will open many excitin g opportunities for our family. I hope that is what remains in your memories. There are far too many peop le to acknowledge in this space; therefore, please forgive me if your name was not listed specifically. I am blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life and I appreciate all of you. Finally, t hank you to everyone who read drafts of this dissertati on Their helpful insights and advice improved the final product Any shortcomings and/or omissions in this final draft are solely my responsibility.


8 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 11 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ................................ ................................ ........................... 12 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 13 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 15 Military Recruitment in the United States ................................ ................................ 16 Critical Feminist Perspective ................................ ................................ ................... 20 An Overview of Relevant Literatures ................................ ................................ ...... 21 Methods Employed ................................ ................................ ................................ 21 Org anization of the Study ................................ ................................ ....................... 21 2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ................................ ................................ ............ 23 History of Military Recruitment ................................ ................................ ................ 23 Feminist Theory and Frameworks ................................ ................................ .......... 29 History of Women in the U.S. Military ................................ ................................ ..... 35 Media Portrayals of Women ................................ ................................ .................... 44 Media Effects Theoretical Foundations ................................ ................................ ... 48 Persuasion based Theoretical Foundation ................................ ............................. 50 3 METHODS ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 55 Qualitative Content Analysis (QCA) ................................ ................................ ........ 55 In Depth Interviews ................................ ................................ ................................ 68 4 FINDINGS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 75 Branch Preferences ................................ ................................ ................................ 76 Developing themes ................................ ................................ ................................ 82 Integration of Information Pertaining to Women ................................ ...................... 82 Themes that Emerged in the Analysis of Career Sections of Recruitment Websites ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 93 Case Studies ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 109 5 CONCLUSIONS ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 115 Recommended Improvements ................................ ................................ .............. 115


9 Limitations ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 132 Avenues for Future Research ................................ ................................ ............... 135 Final Thoughts ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 139 APPENDIX A TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 141 B INFORMED CONSENT FORMS ................................ ................................ .......... 144 C INTERVIEW GUIDE ................................ ................................ .............................. 148 D SCREENSHOT OF AN ARMY MILITARY OCCUPATIONAL SPECIALTY THAT IS OPEN TO WOMEN ................................ ................................ .......................... 150 E SCREENSHOT OF AN ARMY MILITARY OCCUPATIONAL SPECIALTY THIS IS CLO SED TO WOMEN ................................ ................................ ...................... 151 F ................................ ...... 152 G ................................ ................................ ..... 154 H IMAGE FROM THE PEDIATRICIAN MOS WEBPAGE OF THE AIR FORCE WEBSITE ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 155 I IMAGE FROM THE AIR DEFENSE ARTILLERY MOS WEBPAGE OF THE ARMY WEBSITE ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 156 J IMAGE FROM THE TEAMWORK PAGE OF THE ARMY MEDICINE (AMEDD) SECTION OF THE GOARMY.COM WEBSITE ................................ .................... 157 K IMAGE FROM THE ARMY MEDICINE (AMEDD) SECTION OF THE GOARMY.COM WEBSITE ................................ ................................ ................... 158 L IMAGE FROM THE MENTAL HEALTH SPECIALIST MOS ON THE GOARMY.COM WEBSITE ................................ ................................ ................... 159 M SCREENSHOTS FROM THE PROFILE VIDEO FOR MASTER AT ARMS ................................ ....................... 160 N SCREENSHOTS FROM THE PROFILE VIDEO FOR AMANDA HODGES, AVAITION STRUCTURAL MECHANIC, .......................... 164


10 O SCREENSHOTS OF BRISTOL HARTLAGE, SURFACE WARFARE OFFICER, ECRUITMENT WEBSITE ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 169 P SCREENSHOTS OF CHRIS ZUNDEL, SURFACE WARFARE OFFICER, WEBSITE ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 171 Q MILITARY RECRUITMENT WEBSITES OF OTHER ENGLISH SPEAKING MILITARY ORGANIZATIONS ................................ ................................ ............... 172 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................. 173 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ .......................... 182


11 LIST OF TABLES Table page A 1 Department of Defense Active Duty Military Personnel (September 30, 2011). Compiled data fro m the U.S. Department of Defense (2011a & 2011b). ......... 141 A 2 Four Processing Situations Determined by the Ratio Between Resources Allocated to and Resources Required by the Context of the Persua sive Message (from Buijzen, Van Reijmersdal & Owen, 2010, p. 436). ................... 142 A 3 Marsh & White's (2003) taxonomy of functions of images to the text. .............. 143




13 Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy RECRUITING G.I. JANE: AN ANALYSIS OF THE UNITED STATES MILITARY'S ADVERTISING MESSAGES ON RECRUITMENT WEBSITES By Christine L. Hanlon May 2013 Chair: Lisa Duke Cornell Major: Mass Communication The United States milit ary is currently tasked with the initiative of opening an unprecedented number of military occupational specialties (MOSs) to women. This based recruitment strategies. Each branch has a we bsite dedicated to recruitment and the websites each employ different recruitment str ategies, particularly in regard to the recruitment of women. T he goal of this dissertation was to analyze Web based military recruitment materials that targeted women an d to understand how women interpreted these messages. Using a feminist lens and an interdisciplinary theoretical f oundation, this study triangulated qualitative content analysis (QCA) and in depth interviews. The QCA focused on the recruitment websites o f the branches that currently employ the greatest number of women: the Air Force, the Army, and the Navy. In depth interviews with young women involved in Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) and Civil Air Patrol (CAP) organizations were conducted to provide a narrower focus for the QCA, and to inform the analysis of the Web materials.


14 Through the QCA, eight themes emerged: language issues, demographic representations, activity level, authority, isolation, facial expressions, feminine features, and heterosexist norms. The voices of the participants were integrated to support each theme and to prov ide specific examples in regard to interpretations. Recommendations for improving Web based recruitment materials are provided, along with suggested ave nues for future research.


15 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Military organizations in the United States have recently increased their active recruitment of individuals from marginalized groups (Bumiller, 2011), particularly women ( Dempsey, 2013) Because recruit ment efforts were traditionally focused on a heterosexual male audience, it is important to analyze how military organizations are changing their recruitment efforts to target specific groups, especially women. Using a feminist lens, the goal of this disse rtation was to analyze Web based military recruitment materials that targeted women and to understand how women interpreted those messages. All branches of the U.S. armed forces, including the Air Force, Army, Marines, and Navy, are currently recruiting wo men into various positions, from reserve assignments to officer ranks. Thus, analyzing recruitment materials from different branches provided an opportunity to compare and contrast the recruitment methods employed to recruit women. The United States mili tary has been actively engaged in Web based recruitment for the past decade, and those strategies have been cost effective For example, i n 2002, the Army received 14,000 leads via the Web which led to 1,400 enlistments (Kiger, 2005). Recruiting Command s pokesperson S. Douglas Smith noted that the "1 in 10 ratio is the best of any station in the recruiting command" (Kiger, 2005, p. 31). Thus, Web based recruitment strategies require further investigation because they are proving to be highly effective tool s for the United States military. To analyze how the United States military is advertising to women via the Web, a qualitative content analysis was conducted to generate themes that are currently used in Web based materials intended to recruit women. Addit ionally, to gain an understanding of how


16 women interpret these Web based messages, in depth interviews were conducted with young women who were being actively recruited by the United States military. Military Recruitment in the United States The United Sta tes armed forces have sophisticated recruitment techniques. According to Enloe (2008), the U nited States Departmen t of Defense is "one of the largest clients of American civilian advertising agencies" (p. 260) and the U.S. military "probably hires and con tracts more social scientists than any other American public institution" (p. 259). In fact, it is estimated that the Department of Defense will spend $556.3 million on advertising alone in 2013 ( U. S. Department of Defense, 2012 a ). Advertising considerab ly overlaps with recruitment in the military. Advertising funds provide for local, regional, national and corporate advertising to access quality enlisted and officer personnel. All advertising is designed to increase public awareness and describe employm ent opportunities. The Services fund a media mix that includes television and radio; magazines and newspapers; internet websites and banner advertising; informational videos; direct mail campaigns; and recruiting booklets/pamphlets. ( U. S. Department of De fense 2012 a p. 148) The Department of Defense has a separate budget for recruitment and that budget is estimated at $913.8 million for the 2013 fiscal year ( U. S. Department of Defense, 2012 a ). The recruiting mission is to maintain the highest quality f orce possible. Recruiting funds provide support for recruiting commands and stations throughout the United States, to include civilian pay and training; recruiter training; recruiter travel and per diem; applicant meals, lodging and travel; vehicle operati on and maintenance; office leases; and operating costs of Demonstration Team (Blue Angels). ( U. S. Department of Defense, 2012 a pg. 147). Thus, even though the military budgets have been recently cut these budgets still represent a lar ge funding source


17 Military recruitment represents one of the few opportunities that the United States government has to market itself (Brown, 2012). The military often works with private sector advertising agencies to create recruitment appeals, and thes e gender ed messages are often less visible to the public than other forms of advertising (Brown, 2012). These marketing strategies are deliberate and controlled. Over the past decade t he military has changed its recruitment tactics by becoming more techno logically engaging through the use of Web based recruitment materials. In addition, the military has increased active recruitment of individuals from margi nalized groups (Bumiller, 2011). The U. S. Department of Defense (2011a & 2011b) reports that women represent 14.5% of the active military. Historically, a greater percentage of women have been integrated into the Air Force than any other military branch with women representing more than 19 % of active duty personnel ( U. S. Department of Defense, 2011b ). Additionally, less than 1% of job opportunities in the Air Force are not available to women ( United States Air Force, 2013 ) and the Air Force has a greater percentage of women officers (18.8%) than the other branches ( U. S. Department of Defense, 2011b) Thus, from a statistical perspective, the Air Force is the br anch that has led in the recruitment of women The Navy has recruited a higher percentage of women into active duty (16.4%) than the Army (13.6%) and the Marine Corps (6.8%) ( Table A I ) In b ot h the Army and the Navy, women represent approximately 16% of officers ( U. S. Department of Defense, 2011b) In comparison to the other branches, the Marine Corps has the most


18 restrictions in regard to job opportunities for women and the smallest percentag e of women in officer positions (6.9%). See Table A I for a detailed comparison of the data. In 2012, women were provided with opportunities in nearly 15,000 military positions that had previously excluded women (Dempsey, 2013), and in January 2013, the U.S. Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff officially rescinded the direct combat exclusion rule for women in the U.S. military. In a letter to the Secretary of Defense, Martin E. Dempsey (2013), the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff noted that, the time has come to rescind the direct combat exclusion rule for women and to eliminate all unnecessary gender based barriers to service. The Joint Chiefs of Staff unanimously join me in proposing that we move forward with the full intent to integ rate women into occupational fields to the maximum extent possible. The 2013 efforts by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of Defense will open an examination of all 230,000 military positions that currently exclude women (Barnes & Nissenbaum, 2013), including elite positions, such as those in the Navy SEALs. To guide the further integration of women into the military, Dempsey (2013) approach to reducing gender based barri necessary to institutionalize these important changes and to integrate women into elimination of unnecessary gender based ba (2013) recommended the following: Services will expand the number of units and number of women assigned to those units based on ETP [Exceptions To Policy] and provide periodic updates on progress each quarter beginning in 3 rd quarter, FY 2013.


19 The Navy will continue to assign women to afloat units as (1) technical changes and modifications for reasonable female privacy and appropriate female berthing arrangements are completed; (2) female officer and enlisted leadership assign schedules permit. Integration will be expeditiously implemented considering good order and judicious use of fiscal resources. Services will continue to develop, review, and validate individual occupational standards Validated gender neutral occupational standards will be used to assess and assign Service members not later than September 2015. The Services and U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) will proceed in a deliberate, measured and responsible way to assi gn women to currently closed MOSs [Military Occupational Specialties] as physical standards and operational assessments are completed and as it becomes possible to introduce cadres as described above. The Services and USSOCOM must complete all studies by 1 st quarter, FY 2016, and provide periodic updates each quarter beginning in 3 rd quarter, FY 2013. If we find that the assignment of women to a specific position or occupational specialty is in conflict with our stated principles, we will request an except ion to policy. to date toward eliminating gender based exclusions in the United States military. They also represent enormous effort s by the United States military to change its culture through thes e hierarchical shifts. Eisenstein (2007) has noted the increased visibility of women in the military. "This visibility is unusual because females are more often than not out of view made absent, silenced rather than seen. So t he fact that women appear more present needs attention" (p. 17). Such visibility requires our attention and critical analysis to ensure that recruitment strategies are conducive to the effective integration of women in the armed forces. For women to conform to the hyper masculine h eterosexual culture of the United States military, they must perform a heterosexual gender identity that highlights


20 masculinity without completely diminishing feminine qualities. Using a feminist lens, the goal of this dissertation is to analyze the messag e of Web based military recruitment materials that target women and to understand how women interpret these messages. Critical Feminist Perspective Both critical theory and feminism share the goal of deconstructing how power is created and maintained in social hierarchies particularly in regard to media messages. T his shared goal create s unique opportunities for understanding the military culture and how the military recruits women. Critical the of social scie ntific knowledge by analyzing the modes of its production, the roles it played in society, the interests it served, and the historical processes through which it came to power" (Hoy & McCarthy, 1994, p. 14 15). By viewing recruitment materials via a critic al lens, issues regarding the recruitment and integration of women will become more visible. These issues include the representation of women and gendered themes in recruitment materials. Furthermore, the implications and potential consequences that are ma de visible through this dissertation can help the United States to develop more effective policies and procedures for integrating women in the armed forces. Gender is a social construction that is not static According to Zalewski (1995), "gender refers to the socially and culturally constructed categories of masculinity and femininity" (p. 341). Gender is a performance rather than a category based on biological determinants. Through our interactions with others and our performance of self, we construct and reconstruct our gender Unlike sex, gender performances can be altered, particularly in situations where a different gender performance may provide more opportunities for professional advancement.


21 An Overview of Relevant Literatures To analyze how th e military is recruiting women it is important to have an interdisciplinary theoretical foundation, including social science theoretic al frameworks from disciplines such as communication, gender studies, psychology, and sociology Feminist and sociologica l theories are particularly useful tools for studying the hyper masculine culture of the military because feminist theories deconstruct hierarchically based power and sociological theories can help us understand the importance of cultural norms and behavio rs In addition, communication and psychological theories are useful for investigating ways in which the military is using advertisements to recruit women. Methods Employed A qualitative content analysis (QCA) of Web based recruitment materials developed by the United States military was conducted to analyze the message s and develop themes. I n depth interviews were conducted with women enrolled in Junior Reserve Office Training Corps ( J ROTC) and Civil Air Patrol (CAP) programs to reveal how they interpret messages in Web based recruitment materials. The in depth interviews also provided a narrower focus for the QCA. The data were triangulated to strengthen the rigor of the project. Organization of the Study The next chapter contains a review of recent sch olarly research that serve d as a foundation for this dissertation. To strengthen the research base, an interdisciplinary approach was taken. F ramed in a critical feminist perspective, theories from communication, gender studies, psychology, and sociology w ere used to develop the foundation for this project. More specifically, the first section of the literature review


22 introduces the history of military recruitment in the United States to highlight the importance of contemporary recruitment and integration i ssues. In the second section feminist theoretical frameworks are used to deconstruct how women are integrated into the masculine culture of the United States military. The third section builds upon the first two sections by using a historical perspective to identify how women, in particular, have been integrated in the United States military. In the fourth section, research focused on media portrayals of women is detailed to explain how military women have been portrayed in the media and m edia effects theo ries are also introduced in this section The f inal section focuses on a persuas ion based model that explains how young women interpret media messages The third chapter focuses on the triangulated methodological design used to address the research questi ons. T his study first employ ed a QCA to identify emerging themes through an analysis of Web based recruitment materials that were developed by the United States military. Next, details are provided regarding in depth interviews that were conducted with you ng women enrolled in J ROTC and CAP programs The purpose of the in depth interviews was to gain an understanding of how young women interpret the Web based recruitment materials that were analyzed in the QCA and to narrow the focus the QCA The third chapt er also pro vides an overview of these approaches along with a rationale for using these research methods. The fourth chapter reports the research findings for each methodological approach and then compares and contrasts themes that emerged in the two da ta sets. The final chapter provides the conclusions of the dissertation, identifies areas for future research, and acknowledges limitations in this research project.


23 CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE History of Military Recruitment There is a large bod y of historical research that focuses on how the United States military has used advertising to convince women to support military efforts. Campaigns that sought to involve women in efforts supporting World War II have received considerable scholarly atten tion, particularly efforts that focused on homeland activities (such as rationing and working in factories to build war munitions), morale boosting efforts (such as the USO), and official military assignments (such as WACs, WAVEs and WASPs). These efforts empowered women to support the military in a number of ways though none of these programs sought to recruit women permanently into the military culture. Thus, the military has a long history of recruiting women to support military efforts; however, it is a more recent development that the U.S. military has begun to actively recruit women to enlist and serve as permanent members of the armed forces The United States has relied upon a volunteer based military since the early 1970s and, at present, is activ ely recruiting women into the military forces. In fact, all branches of the U.S. armed forces, including the Air Force, Army, Marines, and Navy, are currently recruiting women into various positions, from reserve assignments to officer ranks. Thus, it is i mportant to consider recruitment techniques and the culture of military organizations when increasing numbers of diverse groups are being recruited to serve in them. Recently, women have been legitimately provided with more opportunities in the United Sta tes military than ever before. In February 2012 more than 1 4 ,000 military


24 positions that previously excluded women were opened for women ( Dempsey & Panetta 2013 ) Additionally, in January 2013, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta rescinded the 1994 Pentagon p olicy that banned women from combat roles (Barnes & Nissenbaum, 2013) The proposal from the Defense Secretary and the Joint Chiefs of Staff is to fully integrate women into military positions by 2015. Each of the military branches will analyze how integra tion will work for each MOS (military occupational specialty), and any exclusions must be clearly noted with evidence to provide a gender neutral reforms and full y integrate women into the hierarchy of the armed forces. It is important to study how women are represented in recruitment materials because the text, images, and video included in these materials can frame how women are integrated in the military. Accor ding to Brown (2012), Recruitment materials are a window into the construction of militarized femininity in the form of the American female service member. Recruitment involves overt image making and an attempt to sell particular pictures of military servi ce, making it an especially fruitful site to study the construction of gender by the military. The service branches create normative ideals of militarized femininity for an audience composed of not just potential recruits but their larger communities. The women who enlist are not merely passive recipients of these norms, and they do not inevitably internalize the military femininity form the backdrop of their service, shaping expectatio ns both with the branches and in society at large. (pgs. 152 153). Thus, the critical analysis of recruitment messages, particularly those that are readily available in the online environment, can help us understand how the military constructs the represen tation of women soldiers in the context of military culture. In terms of military recruitment, some scholarly inquiries have assessed soldiers' perceptions of influences in the recruitment process. Harkey, Reid, and King (1988) identified 12 sources of i nfluence and collapsed the sources into five influence


25 variables. Of the five influence variables, two of the variables focused on mass media influence (an advertising influence variable and a mass media influence variable) and the remaining three variabl es focused on interpersonal influencer s Although none of the variables were perceived as "heavily" influential, the most influential interpersonal influencer noted was the Army recruiter (who was perceived as having a "moderate" influence). The family inf luence variable (containing the collapsed sources of father/mother, husband/wife, sister/brother and other relatives) was perceived to have "little influence" and the friends influence variable (containing the collapsed sources of friends and boy/girlfrien d) was perceived to have almost no influence (Harkey, Reid & King, 1988 p. 725 ) The findings from the Harkey, Reid and King (1988) study, however. The military continues to develop and distribute re cruitment materials specifically for influencers. For example military recruitment materials have been tailored to gain parental support (particularly from mothers) for young people who are considering military service (Hamilton, 2010) Influe ncers, such as parents, high school athletic coaches, high school guidance counselors, and clergy (Enloe, 2008) continue to be targeted in the recruitment process Analyses of recruitment materials that disproportionately focus ed on mothers have noted that tactics a imed at persuading mothers often differ from those used to persuade other groups of influencers (Hamilton 2010 ). Recruitment materials targeted to mothers often refer to the notion of Republican Motherhood a role that positions mothers as responsible for raising patriotic children who are eager to serve their country. Historian Linda Kerber (1980) has documented that Republican Motherhood


26 has been an important concept for maintaining a patriotic culture in the United States since the Revolutionary War era In an analysis of print and television advertisements targeting mothers, Hamilton (2010) found that "the advertisements define not only their worth as women, based in their children's accomplishments, but also the parameters of their concerns" (p. 156). Furthering this idea, Enloe (2008) noted that military recruiters have tried to persuade mothers to permit their child to enlist by focusing on the idea that enlistment would be "practicing good mothering" (p. 259). Thus, the recruitment of women has also entailed the recruitment of family members, particularly mothers. In addition to efforts to persuade parents and other influentials, the U.S. military has also constructed direct appeals to young people. In Padilla and Laner's (2002) qualitative content a nalysis of military recruitment materials (including pamphlets, television commercials, films, billboards), seven categories emerged from the data: patriotism, adventure/challenge, job/career/education, social status, money, travel, and a miscellaneous cat egory. First, advertisements in the patriotism category appealed to the desire "to defend the country's honor, protect it from tyranny, and to do one's patriotic duty" (Padilla & Laner, 2003, p. 115). The adventure/challenge category typically featured som eone "flying a plane or serving in the tank corps" (Padilla & Laner, 2003, p. 115). The third category, job/career/education, focused on the acquisition of a trade, skill, or the ability to pursue opportunities in higher education. The social status catego ry focused on how a "recruit's status could be enhanced by enlisting" (Padilla & Laner, 2003, p. 115). Fifth, the money category, focused on monetary incentives, such as "a cash bonus for enlisting, or noting the soldier's pay" (Padilla & Laner, 2003, p. 1 15). The sixth category, travel, emphasized opportunities to travel and see foreign


27 lands. Finally, Padilla and Laner (2002) identified a miscellaneous category that represented recruitment materials that contained "multiple themes in which no single theme dominated" (p. 115). These themes provide d a foundation for the beginning of the analysis of recruitment materials presented via the Web. In an interpretive textual study of military recruitment advertisements in magazines, Brown (2012) examined visual and verbal elements of the advertisements. With the visual elements, she noted appearance issues (particularly hairstyle, use of cosmetics, facial expression, and clothing), the issues related to the activity pictured (active versus passive activity, type of activity, location, the presence of military equipment, groupings of individuals, leadership). For verbal elements, she considered language, which aspects of life (and benefits) were featured, the inclusion of particular words that have a masculine vale nce (such as adventure, independence, challenge, test, str ength, toughness, and courage). Combining these themes noted in th e Padilla and Laner (2003) and Brown (2012) studies helped to provide a strong springboard for the qualitative content analysis of W eb based recruitment materials in this dissertation Military recruitment necessitates contact with large numbers of potential recruits. According to Marsman (2009), an Air Force Recruiting Service Mission Brief stated that "in order to get one recruit t o basic military training, we must make contact with 100 individuals" (p. 42). Traditionally, the Air Force has noted that recruitment efforts are most effective when a recruiter is present in the process (Marsman, 2009). Another key to successful recruitm ent efforts is the proximity of a military base. "The proximity of an air base creates a synergy whereby Air Force recruiters contin u e to draw heavily from


28 increasingly smaller cultures and communities" (Marsman, 2009, p. 45). Routine exposure to military cultures can help reduce recruits' uncertainty about enlisting. The United States military has identified that Web based recruitment tools serve as an effective way to reach larger numbers of individuals, particularly those who are in geographically isola ted areas and those areas where recruitment offices are not located. Historically, most military recruitment efforts in the United States have targeted specific geographical locations. In fact, recruitment offices are disproportionatel y represented in the southern states of the United States "Most of the South Central states are overrepresented, compared to their Upper Mid west co u nterparts which creates a situation in which certain branches, such as the Air Force, "speak with a Southern accent" (Marsman 2009, p. 46). In contrast, recruits from urban areas only represent about 8 % of recruits (Marsman, 2009 ). Other challenges for military recruiters include the popularity of tattoos as body art (which often makes them ineligible to enlist), and legal is sues (such as DUIs) The U.S. Air Force, in particular, is concerned about recruiting a diverse group of individuals. "As long as we access people who can conform to our military ethos and inculcate our core values of integrity, service before self, and ex cellence in all we do, we should be casting the net for the most diverse Air Force we can recruit" (Marsman, 2009, p. 47 ). T o reflect the dive rsity of the United States, several of the branches of the armed forces have created diversity offices i n an effor t to recruit a more diverse group of individuals. One way in which the United States military can reach a more diverse population of potential recruits is via the Web. In fact, t he military has been actively engaged in Web based recruitment for the past decade, and those strategies have been cost


29 effective For example, i n 2002, the Army received 14,000 leads, which led to 1,400 enlistments via the Web (Kiger, 2005). Recruiting Command spokesperson S. Douglas Smith noted the effectiveness of Web based eff orts when he reported that the 1 in 10 ratio is more effective than face to face recruitment (Kiger, 2005, p. 31). Thus, Web based recruitment strategies require further investigation because they are proving to be highly effective tools for the United Sta tes military. Because recruitment efforts were traditionally focused on a heterosexual male audience, it is important to analyze how military organizations are changing their recruitment efforts to target specific groups, particularly women. Analyzing re cruitment materials from all branches can provide an opportunity to compare and contrast the recruitment methods employed to recruit women. Feminist Theory and Frameworks Feminist theory is a useful framework for understanding the military culture and th e military's tactics for recruiting and integrating women. Feminist theory focuses on the way in which hierarchies are structured in society, particularly patriarchal ones such as those that are prevalent in the U.S. military forces. According to Cirksena and Cuklanz (1992), Instead of a unified perspective that can be called 'feminist theory,' many feminist theories share common elements. Each emphasizes different aspects of social relations between women and men, attention to the status of women in socie ty, and the nature of gender. Nearly all feminist theory, no matter how abstract, is grounded in a concern about, and desire to effect change in, the subjugated status of women. Nearly all forms of feminist analysis also attempt to explain, explicitly or i mplicitly, the sources of women's oppression. Finally, most feminist analysis makes assumptions about the sources of differences between women and men. (p. 18).


30 Furthermore, the military's recruitment of women has often been framed as a form of "women's liberation;" however, from a feminist perspective, "women's entry into the military is better understood as the newest stage of militarizing global capitalism (Eisenstein, 2007, p. 20). Many women enlist in the military due to necessity rather than choice Due to economic hardships, women have increasingly found the military as a means of attaining job training and educational opportunities (Eisenstein, 2007 ). Thus, feminist theories provide a useful framework for analyzing how patriarchal organizations, such as the United States military, attempt to recruit and integrate women. T his paper utilizes a number of feminist theories to frame women's participation in the United States military. More specifically, liberal feminism and cultural feminism both provi de unique ways of understanding military culture. Liberal feminism is one of the oldest forms of feminism and is based on the traditional liberal assumption of rationality in human nature. Although not all liberal feminists have the same point of view, an d at times contradict one another, there are several features of liberal feminism that can be useful for understanding the integration and recruitment of women in the military. More specifically, there are several features of the traditional liberal concep tion of rationality, particularly normative dualism, abstract individualism, and universal egoism, that are helpful in applying liberal feminism to the integration of women in the United States military. To apply liberal feminism, it is important to unders tand these features, how liberal feminism is aligned with these features, and how each of these features are important frameworks for analyzing the integration of women into the masculine culture of the United States military. It is also


31 important to recog nize that there are complex disagreements; therefore, these features are not endorsed by all liberal feminists. The first feature, normative dualism, is "the view that what is especially valuable about human beings is their 'mental' capacity for rational ity" (Jaggar, 1983, p. 40). This is the intellectual argument that has focused on the idea that "once a certain minimum level of rationality has been reached, liberalism grants equal r ights to all individuals" (Jagga r, 1983, p. 38). Thus, this idea has foc used feminists on changing policies that limited women's opportunities, such as the 1972 passage of Title IX which provides women with equal opportunity in institutions of higher education. The notion of normative dualism also reveals the male bias that i s inherent in liberal theory, however. According to Jaggar (1983), "the excessive value placed on the 'mind' at the expense of the body" (p. 46) is an obvious example of male bias. This association of "women with body and men with mind" (Jaggar, 1983, p. 46) has been historically reinforced in the masculine culture of the United States military through the sexual division of labor. Another problem with the notion of normative dualism is that "by ignoring the fact that humans are a biological species, liber als deprive themselves of one important route for identifying human needs" (Jaggar, 1983, p. 42). For example, by ignoring biological gender differences, liberalism is deprived of the ability to create arguments based on issues of reproduction. In the Unit ed States military, this "formal equality approach has been criticized for its acceptance of rules and norms developed by men for men, for its failure to value the 'feminine,' and for its opposition to policies or laws that favor women over men" (Zeigler & Gunderson, 2005, p. 5). Thus, although the intent of pure equality


32 based on rationality can be an effective approach, the weakness of liberal theory is that it does not take biological differences into consideration. The second feature, abstract individu alism, "conceives of human individuals in abstraction from any social circumstances" (Jaggar, 1983, p. 29). In other words, cognitive abstract individualism focuses on individual s rather than their participation in a social group. It involves the notion th at individuals are able to act rationally without the support of a particular group and that they are not required to be aligned with a specific group in order to be considered rational individuals. Scholars have noted that the notion of an individual exis ting outside a social context is illogical and not empirically sound (Jaggar, 1983). Simply stated, communication must be encoded and decoded based on social situations; therefore, if the message is taken out of the social context, the meaning and/or inter pretation will be flawed. For this reason, liberal feminism often challenges the notion of abstract individualism that is foundational to traditional liberalism. Finally, universal egoism refers to the propensity for individuals to primarily consider the ir own interests. This focus on self interest refers to the notion that an individual's "natural inclination is invariably to favor what one perceives to be one's own interests" (Jaggar, 1983, p. 31). Many liberal feminists reject the idea of universal ego ism. "Instead, they stress the desirability of such 'feminine' characteristics as the capacity for nurturing others and deny that such behavior is irrational" (Jaggar, 1983, p. 45). In this way, many liberal feminists legitimate feminine behaviors by argui ng that such behaviors are rational. This argument works particularly well when applied to the United States military's current approach to integrating women because it assumes that


33 women in the military should exhibit both feminine and masculine behaviors and that both are rational. The notion of the legitimacy and rationality of performing both feminine and masculine behaviors leads to the idea of androgyny. According to many accounts of liberal feminism, embers of an androgynous society would be ph ysiologically male or female (or a variation thereof), but they would be unlikely to show the same extreme differences in 'masculine' or 'feminine' psychology as those characteristics are currently defined That is to say, there would not be the current ex treme contrast between logical, independent, aggressive, courageous, insensitive and emotionally inexpressive men an d intuitive, dependent, compassionate, nurturant, and motional women. (Jaggar, 1983, p. 38 39). In fact, this is the notion advocated by Z eigler and Gunderson (2005) in regard to the integration of women in the United States military when they state that they "advocate gender neutral, job normed standards that will be applied to men and women equally" (p. 5). L iberating individuals from a "s ex role system" would enable individuals to meet their full potential. oppressive constraint on the freedom both of women and men, liberal feminists argue simultaneously that gender is unju st and that its abolition is in the general human focuses on how liberating people from the sex role system can benefit the state. To do so, liberal h prudential and moral arguments for the legitimacy of the considering how the military can integrate women, particularly in MOSs that represe nt new opportunities fo r women in the military.


34 Although the notion of an androgynous society may have common sense appeal to the United States military, it ultimately is not the direction the military appears to have taken. The military has historically integrated women into d ifferent ranks based on the notion of difference. For example, one popular argument for integrating women into combat missions is based on the notion that women have feminine qualities that provide a unique skill set such as in an ambassador role This fo cus on difference represents the manner in which the military has historically handled the integration of women. More specifically, t h ere have been suggestions that women are more likely ( than men ) to be effective in peacekeeping operations and as liaisons with the public, particularly when other women in foreign communities are involved (Stachowitsch, 2012) The More specifically, the military has found that women are more effective victim advocates for women who are victims in war zones ( DeGroot, 2001 ) Rape is a particularly pressing issue in war zones and women are more likely than men to be e f f ective advocates in those situations, particularly when the victims are members of masculine cultures. Women's effectiveness in these roles, however, is likely due to gender stereotypes perceived by the victims rather than a gender difference per se Inc idents of sexual violence perpetrated by male peacekeepers against local women (Jacobs on 2012) has led some organizations (such as the United Nations) to recruit female peacekeepers ( United Nations General Assembly 2 0 0 5 ) The expectation was that the presence of women peacekeepers would decrease incidents of s


35 necessarily change military gender hierarchies and the macho culture within which 2010 p. 196 ). Current research has found that these assumptions are 2010 ). The military's approach to the integration of women has focused on differences; therefore, it more accurately reflects the position of cultural feminists. In contrast to liberal feminism, cultural feminism focuses on the idea "that women and men are fundamentally different and, therefore, should have different rights, roles, and opportunities" (Wood, 2009, p. 66). Critics of cultural feminism not e that integration based on difference accepts and legitimizes the patriarchal system. This approach to integration may be used to justify the subordination of women and a division of labor based on difference. Furthermore, this approach may create more di fficulties for women who are striving to enter gender restricted roles due to a further emphasized "sex role system." On the other hand, some scholars support the notion of difference in the United States military because "evidence from policing and from p eacekeeping suggests that the military may well benefit from 'feminization'" (Zeigler & Gunderson, 2005 p. 5 ). The question is how well the masculine cultur e of the military will welcome feminization. I t is doubtful that the idea of feminization will be integrated easily, particularly due to previous difficulties implementing changes in the United States military. History of Women in the U.S. Military Although the United States military has always maintained a hyper masculine heterosexual culture (Herbert, 1998) th at culture has been altered with the integration of nontraditional soldiers, such as women Rather than dil uting the masculine culture,


36 however, the United States military has created "gender hierarchies that are nuanced so patriarchal privilege is camou flaged" (Eisenstein, 2007, p. 22). Other masculine work cultures, such as fire departments and police departments have identified areas where women are physiologically different than men. For example, Turner, Chiou, Zwiener, Weaver and Spahr (2010) found that women had a greater relative weight of clothing and gear as compared with men ( 42% versus 33%) Martin and Nelson (1986) found that when carrying a backload, men do not change their stride, whereas women decrease their stride. These physiological dif ferences do not represent the physical abilities of every man and woman Furthermore, women often find alternative solutions to physical labor. For example, rather than lift heavy boxes and carry them across a room, people with smaller statures are sometim es more likely to identify a less labor intensive solution, such as using a cart to transport the heavy boxes. Firefighters of smaller statures have learned to carry hoses and ladders so that the weight is more proportionate. Thus, physiological difference s are not necessarily based on gender physicality rather than make gender based assumptions. Furthermore, it is acceptable for an individual of a smaller stature to implement an alternative ap proach to accomplish a task ; therefore, concerns about physical limitations should be tested rather than assumed. do not. (12) The masculinity scale of Hofstede's (1994) cultural dimensions is useful for framing the extent to which the United States, and the military in particular, use strict gender roles to restrict opportunities for both women and men. According to Hofstede (1994), masculinity pertains to cultures "in which social gender roles are clearly distinct


37 (i.e., men are supposed to be assertive, to ugh, and focused on material success whereas women are supposed to be more modest, tender, and concerned with the quality of life)" (p. 82). On the other hand, femininity pertains to cultures "in which social gender roles overlap (i.e., both men and women are supposed be modest, tender, and concerned with the quality of life)" (Hofstede, 1994, p. 83). The United States has a ranking of 62 on the masculinity scale (MAS), compared to a world average of 50 (Hofstede, 2011). This indicates that roles in the U.S are highly differentiated by gender. "The male dominates a significant portion of the society and power structure" (Hofstede, 2011) and "this situation generates a female population that becomes more assertive and competitive, with women shifting toward the male role model and away from their female role" (Hofstede, 2011). The subculture of the U.S. military is based on a masculine model of power. T he strict patriarchal hierarchy of the U.S. military requires that both sexes adhere to masculine ideals. The sociological approach of symbolic interactionism, particularly Goffman's dramaturgical analysis, is helpful in understanding how women can succeed in masculine cultures. Dramaturgical analysis is based on the notion that individuals are constantly eng aged in role playing activities. "This is most clearly evident when an individual is "front stage," that is, in public settings that require the use of props, set gestures, and memorized lines" (Brym & Lie, 2003, p. 124). For many women in the U.S. militar y, the "front stage" is where masculinity is emphasized through the use of uniforms, grooming procedures and behaviors that minimize femininity Although femininity is minimized, there is an expectation that women in the military will maintain an appropri ate balance of femininity so it does not disappear from their identity


38 altogether (Herbert, 1998 ) For example, the U. S. Air Force (2011) has a specific inimum length is one inch, unless approved by the commander upon re commendation from a military treatment facility for medical reasons masculine manner. In fact, female airmen (the term u remove leg hair that is visibly protruding beyond the appropriate hosiery or causes a visibly To further maintain appropriate performances of femininity, the U. S. Air Force (2011) has a strict standard for wearing jewelry, particularly earrings: Female Airmen may wear small (not exceeding 6 mm in diameter) spherical, conservative (moderate, being within reasonable limits; not excessive or extreme) round white diamo nd, gold, white pearl, or silver earrings as a set with any uniform combination. If member has multiple holes, only one set of earrings are authorized to be worn in uniform and will be worn in the lower earlobes. Earrings will match and fit tightly without extending below the earlobe unless the piece extending is the connecting band on clip earrings. (p. 89). Femininity is further dictated by limitations for wearing Airmen may wear a total of no more than three rings; wedding sets coun t as one ring when worn as a set. Rings will be worn at the base of the finger, and will not be worn on the Force, 2011, p. 89). This is just a small sampling of how femininity is strictly managed by the Air Force through dress and appearance standards. These limits to feminine


39 displays are not exclusive the Air Force. Other branches have similar policies regarding these issues and those who do not conform to the standards are punished accordingly. Based on Goffman's (1956) dramaturgy individuals perform an identity and are highly aware of their impression management o n the "front stage. Individuals reserve their true selves for the "backstage." According to dramaturgical analysis, there is not a "single self, just the ensemble of roles we play in various social contexts" (Brym & Lie, 2003, p. 124). ke any social identity, military expectations and their acknowledgement. The centrality of performance testing in the The dominance of masculinity in the military culture creates an environment in which women may feel the need to adhere to a masculine standard in order to succeed. According to Eisenstein (2007), "women who enter the military enter a masculinist bastion" (p. 24). Thus, many military women employ strategies similar to passing to deflect scrutiny and minimize their feminine identities. According to screditing can more effectively gain membership into a cultural group that would have marginalized them otherwise. Historically, it was not uncommon for women to use passing strategies to enter and advance in the U.S. military. Most women who became soldiers during the Revolutionary and Civil Wars engaged in passing strategies that required them to completely disguise their biological self. For example, Deborah Gannett Sampson


40 presented herself as "Robert Shurtleff" and enlisted in the army for the whole term of the Revolutionary War (Diamant, 1998). By completely disguising every feminine aspect of her identity, she was able to enter the U.S. military as a soldier. Al though women have played an important role in the U.S. military historically, most of those roles were subordinate and based on specific gender roles. For example, during the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, women's duties usually involved nursing, lau ndry, food preparation, and sewing (Kerber, 1980). Thus, entering the war as a soldier required women to employ extreme forms of passing. According to Spradlin (1998), p assing is how one conceals normal information about oneself to preserve, sustain, and ; italics in original ). Although the concept of passing has been most frequently used to frame the performance of race (Berlant, 1993) and sexual orientation ( Spradlin, 1998; Woods & Ha rbeck, 1992) it can also be a useful concept for framing how individuals perform gender. More specifically, b y employing strategies that are similar to passing, military women can produce balances masculinity and feminini ty according to military cultural standards. Nowadays women are being actively recruited and promoted in the U.S. military without the necessity of completely disguising their biological bod ies ; however, due to the continued presence of patriarchal norms many military women engage in strategies similar to those used for passing These activities often entail minimizing feminine a spects of their identity by adjusting their communication style and exhibiting more aggressive leadership qualities.


41 By focus ing on passing in a workplace where heterosexual activities were the norm, Spradlin (1998) developed passing strategies that are used to "cover" one's identity in the workplace. Three of these strategies can very easily be adapted to explain passing strate gies that some military women have employed to alter their gender performance The first strategy, distancing, focuses on the idea of removing oneself from informal conversations and keeping aspects of one's personal life completely private and ambiguous t o colleagues in the workplace. The second strategy, dissociating, focuses on avoiding "guilt by association." In other words, this is an attempt to separate oneself from anyone else in the workplace who is considered outside of the workplace norms. For exa mple, women in the military who engage in dissociating would minimize public interactions with other military women. Finally, dodging entails changing the subject and creating diversions to steer conversations away from inquiries about one's pe rsonal life. All of these strategies can be used to downplay feminine features and highlight masculine parts of one's identity. The balance of femininity and masculinity is narrow in the military, and there are In mainstream U.S. society, "performing one's gender wrong initiates a set of punishments both obvious and indirect, and performing it well provides the reassurance that there is an essentialism of gender identity" (Butler, 1988, p. 5 28). Similarly, the outright performance or rejection of civilian gender norms is not accepted well in terms of social conformity in the hyper masculine culture of the United States military. More specifically, there have been instances where military wome n have been socially punished for producing a hyper masculine gender performance. Thus, w omen are expected to


42 highlight masculine qualities while still maintaining some feminine characteristics (Herbert, 1998) Brigadier General Janis Karpinski, the only officer reprimanded for the Abu Ghraib prison scandal (which is detailed later in this dissertation), has noted that "'female soldiers became more masculine than the men,' and that men tried to defeminize female soldiers by cutting their hair short, insis ting on baggy uniforms, and so on" (Eisenstein, 2007, p. 36). Because Brigadier General Karpinski kept her hair long and "wasn't masculine enough for the army punished accordingly" (Eisenstein, 2007, p. 36). According to Karpinski (2005), Some women even straight women tried to neutralize the men by joining them, cutting their hair and playing down their female characteristics. For my part, I tried to be both an officer and a gentlewoman. Our uniform required us to keep our hair up, off the and I kept mine at shoulder length or longer. (p. 58) Karpinski maintained a more feminine gender performance by keeping her hair long and blonde, yet she conformed to the style that was dictated by military standards. She seems to be the standard for military women. Furthermore, many military women are pressured to balance a certain level of masculinity without performing their gender in a way that is inconsistent with heterosexual cultural norms. The U.S. military attempts to openly identify some of these issues in recruitment materials target ed to women by profiling military women who exhibit traditional gender roles, but are engaged in hyper masculine activities in the workplace. These issues are detailed later in this dissertation.


43 Furthermore, gender performance is often associated with the assumptions asculine women, lesbian or not, are frequently labeled lesbian mong gay women in Now that the DADT era has ended, the fear of investigations has subsided; however, some women who identify as lesbian still do not disclose that aspe ct of their identit y to their military colleagues because military culture remains based on heterosexual norms. Another issue that women in the military need to address is the notion that foreign "military bases and prostitution have been assumed to 'go to gether'" (Enloe, 2000, p. 81). There is a long history of the U.S. military working with local authorities to control native women's sexual behavior so that it benefits U.S. soldiers' sexual desires. The United States Defense Advisory Committee on the Stat us of Women in the Services (DACOWITS) has monitored the working conditions for women soldiers. In 1987, "DACOWITS members began to make a connection between the treatment of local women around the American bases and the treatment of American women on the bases. They blamed American Navy women's low morale on the sexist environment created by the 'availability of inexpensive female companionship from the local population and its adverse consequences for legitimate social opportunities of Service women'" (En loe, 2000, p. 87). As a ship gets closer to port (and the prostitutes), Navy women can find it challenging when male sailors begin talking about women in objectifying ways. Furthermore, male sailors who have an expectation of exploiting women may treat fem ale soldiers differently as the ship gets closer to port. This can


44 create a hostile environment for women sailors, particularly those in leadership positions. In this way, women are positioned a s sexual rivals. As a masculine culture, the United States m ilitary has needed to change some policies and procedures to create a more inclusive climate. These changes were often prompted by events that were highly publicized to the general public through the media. Thus, the media ha ve had an important role in pro mpting changes in the military. Media Portrayals of Women Media portrayals of military women are frequent in the newsmedia and in one of the newest forms of mass media, gaming (Tannenbaum and Riccitiello, 2011). Interestingly, t he military has a long esta blished relationship with the gaming industry (Robinson, 2012), and has recently begun using video games as a recruitment tool ( Shaw, 20 10 ) Commercial video games often feature situations involving strict hierarchies and graphic violence. The first portra yals of women in video games focused on women as sexual objects, victims, and/or witnesses to violence; however, wome n are increasingly portrayed in more masculine ways, particularly in regards to aggressive and v iolen t behaviors ( Herbst, 2005; Labre & Duk e, 2004; Dill & Thill, 2007 ) In military based games, military women are often visually represented as capable and effective soldiers. According to Herbst (2005), "the message resonating from the world of gaming a world that bears close ties to the mili tary and its recruiting and training efforts is that women can be as violent as men" (p. 321). Portrayals in the mass media, particularly in video games, can both positively and negatively impact the integration and recruitment of women into the military On one hand the representation of women as capable and effective soldiers is a positive representation. On the other hand, the representation of


45 women as violent can be perceived as extremely negative, particularly because this representation contradict s with gender norms. The United States military's integration of women has been noted in the news media as well News coverage often portrays military women differently than their male counterparts The following examples detail how women are rarely note d as particip ants on the warfront at all and when they are, their sex and/or gender are often on display in Early in the Iraq war, the story of the capture and rescue of Jessica Lynch was a popular news story in the U.S. media. In the case of Jessica Lynch, the news media largely portrayed Private Lynch "as in need of rescuing as well as a heroic soldier which expressed "a range of diverging perceptions on women in the m ilitary" (Herbst, 2005, p. 313). Interestingly, these reports primarily focused on Jessica Lynch (the only white woman) rather than the other female soldiers, Lori Piestewa and Shoshanna Johnson. Johnson a single mother of two children, was the first Afr ican American woman prisoner of war and she incurred serious injuries in the conflict (Collins, 2012) Piestewa, a single mother, died as a result of the conflict. In fact, nine soldiers were killed in that conflict; h owever, that information was di luted by the focus on Jessica Lynch. Furthermore, Lynch was portrayed in a manner that reinforced traditional gender norms Lynch was portrayed as "remarkable" because she fired her gun and fought back ; however, t his type of reaction would be expected of a mal e soldier (Sjoberg, 2010) Furthermore, Lynch's motivation for joining the army was framed in her desire to travel. "Her choice, then, was not to fight, or to go to war, but to be a tourist. Instead she


46 was a girl who wanted some adventure and just happene d to end up in an a rmy supply tank with a gun in the desert of Iraq" (Sjoberg, 2010, p. 211 ; italics mine ). According to Kampfner (2003 ), the Jessica Lynch story is a remarkable insight into the real influence of Hollywood producers on the Pentagon's medi a managers, and has produced a template from which America hopes to present its future wars" (p. 2). Thus, the Jessica Lynch story is a good example of how the U. S. military uses the media to create gendered messages to create patriotism and gain public s upport. In contrast, media reports on the Abu Ghraib sex scandal portrayed military women as torturers and sexual deviants. Megan Ambuhl, Lynndie England, and Sabrina Harman, three of the torturers who were highlighted in media reports, are W hite women. In addition, Janis Karpinski, the brigadier general of the prisons in Iraq and the only officer held responsib le for the incident, is also a W hite woman (Eisenstein, 2007). In the media reports, Lynndie England represented "masculinity in a female body" (E isenstein, 2007, p. 35) because she was the woman who used a leash to torture and sexually humiliate the prisoners. These women's actions "do not bespeak their own power or privilege yet they display the imperial power of white women over Muslim men. They are acting in a heterosexist hierarchical and punishing system of power" (Eisenstein, 2007, p. 42). Ultimately, t he three women involved as torturers at Abu Ghraib, particularly Lynndie England, were used by the military as an attempt to legitimize the su periority of the United States' heterose xist patriarchal system and to marginalize the Muslim men ( Eisenstein, 2007 ) Clearly, incidents such as the Abu Ghraib prison scandal are not liberating to women nor are they indicative of "equal opportunity" in the United States military (Eisenstein, 2007)


47 Military women were also the focus of mass media attention when the masculine culture of the military encountered difficulties becoming inclusive. Scandals such as Tailhook and Aberdeen were highly publicized b y the media and often portrayed women negatively or focused on their victimization in a way that minimized their military experience (Eisenstein, 2007) The Tailhook scandal refers to a series of sexual assaults that occurred during the 1991 Tailhook con vention, an annual convention of Navy and Marine aviation personnel Many researchers have noted that the Tailhook scandal was a result of rising tensions in the military regarding inclusion and exclusion policies for military women (Zimmerman, 1995). In 1996, the Aberdeen scandal was a major sex abuse scandal that occurred at the Aberdeen Proving Ground, an Army base in Maryland. Widely reported by the media, the incidents led to the Army charging a dozen male officers with victimizing female trainees wh o were under their command. The Aberdeen scandal involved a range of sexual charges, including sexu al assault, rape, and adultery. As a response to the Tailhook and Aberdeen scandals, military branches have developed stronger victim advocacy programs. Th us, media portrayals of military women have impacted the integration of women in the military in some positive ways. However, overall, military women have been portrayed as victims, deviants, and damsels in distress. hese portrayals represent ed them as if they did not belong in the military; therefore, these media representations ultimately hurt the legitimacy of women in the armed forces


48 Media Effects Theoretical Foundations A few theories have been u sed in previous research as foundations for understanding how visual representations of women in traditional and hypersexualized roles impact viewers. Of these theories, the three most frequently used theoretical foundations are social cognitive theory ge nder schema theory (Smith & Granados, 2009) and congruity theory Social cognitive theory According to Bandura's (1986) social cognitive theory, children learn about sex typed behaviors through experiences and observation. Observational learning can be applied to visual representations of women, such as advertisements. When all four sub processes of social cognitive theory are met, stereotypes can be reinforced and sex based behavior learned. The four sub processes are attention, retention, production, a nd motivation (Smith & Granados, 2009) In regard to gender specific images, attention is gained largely through a model's attractiveness. Retention is reinforced by repeated exposure. Repetition enables receivers to encode similar and repeated themes in m essages. This cognitive rehearsal of themes leads to the formation of scripts that are based on the visual representations. Production involves the reproduction of these scripts. Finally, motivation is enhanced when visual representations are shown in a ma nner that appears to be rewarded. Stereotypes and sex based behavior is particularly reinforced when all four sub processes are enacted in response to a same sex image that appears to be rewarded or not punished socially (Smith & Granados, 2009). Gender s chema theory Another theoretical foundation that is frequently used to understand media effects of visual representations is gender schema theory. A schema is a cognitive structure that provides a way to organize and interpret


49 experiences (Wood, 2008). T here are four different types of schemata: prototypes, personal constructs, stereotypes, and scripts. Prototypes involves grouping "people, events, and situations into broad categories" by defining a representative ideal example for a category of individua ls (Wood, 2008, p. 47). Personal constructs provide a way for individuals to judge others and "allow us to make more detailed assessments of particular qualities of phenomena we perceive" (Wood, 2008, p. 28). Stereotypes are (often misguided) generalizatio ns that are based on social group membership. Finally, scripts are sequences of activities that set expectations for appropriate behavior in specific situations (Wood, 2008). By observing media images, individuals create gender schemata based on what the i mages represent as socially appropriate behavior for gender specific groups (Smith & Granados, 2009) Congruity theory Past research has used congruity theory to analyz e the effectiveness of military recru itment advertisements in regard to persuading wom en (Mollett, 2006). Osgood, Suci, and Tannenbaum (1957) presented the principle of congruity as a cognitive process that is used to negotiate messages. Basically, a message that is consistent with one's beliefs, gender role, and brand expectations will pr omote a positive attitude. Conversely, a message that is inconsistent with one's beliefs, gender role, and brand expectations will promote negotiation to maintain consistency and may lead to cognitive dissonance in cases of forced compliance (Festinger & C arlsmith 1959). Thus, social cognitive theory, gender schema theory (Smith & Granados, 2009), and congruity theory are useful for considering how women may interpret military recruitment materials that target them specifically. These theories were conside red as


50 themes are developed through the qualitative content analysis and the analysis of the transcripts from the in depth interviews with women. Persuasion based Theoretical Foundation Persuasion theories are useful for evaluating materials intended to recruit women to the military. The purpose of recruitment materials is to advertise military opportunities through persuasive communications; therefore, persuasion based models that explain the persuasive process are helpful in analyzing recruitment techn iques. D eciding to dedicate oneself to military service is a monumental commitment ; therefore, the decision to join the military requires cognitive (intellectual) processing and is considered a high involvement decision. Because young people (i.e., high sc hool students) are often the targets of recruitment messages, it is also important to consider how adolescents process persuasive messages. Thus, the Processing of Commercial Media Content (PCMC) model may be useful for understanding how young people proce ss recruitment messages. The Processing of Commercial Media Content (PCMC) model was created as an investigative framework for understanding how young people process media messages (Buijzen, Van Reijmersdal & Owen, 2010). This model is particularly helpf ul when attempting to understand how young people process messages because it is based on both adult models of persuasion and theories of children's consumer development and socialization. Furthermore, the PCMC model takes into account issues of interactiv ity (a common feature of military recruitment Websites) and the integration of persuasive messages in seemingly neutral content. Web based military recruitment messages often blur the boundaries between advertising and information. The highly integrated na ture of recruitment based advertising provides particular challenges for receivers,


51 particularly young people, to differentiate between the persuasive and informative messages. These embedded messages require more sophisticated critical analysis than most commercial messages that young people are accustomed to processing because they are not blatantly framed as advertisements (Buijzen, Van Reijmersdal & Owen, 2010) The PCMC model includes a triple level model of young people's persuasion processing (base d on adult persuasion theories), a RA/RR (resources allocated/resources required) ratio framework to theorize how media content can affect young people's processing of persuasive messages (based on the limited capacity model of mediated message processing) and identifies specific message characteristics that may affect RA and RR (Buijzen, Van Reijmersdal & Owen, 2010). The triple level model of the PCMC model is based on previous research that focused on adult persuasion processes, such as Petty and Caci oppo's ( 1986 ) elaboration likelihood model (ELM), and Chaiken and Eagly's heuristic systematic model (HSM; Chen, Duckworth & Chaiken, 1999). The first level, systematic persuasion processing, is based on the elaboration of cognitive processes an d has two l evels of processing The first level, critical systematic processing, is elaborative processing that involves an active awareness and critical analysis of persuasive messages. The second level noncritical systematic processing, "involves a high awareness of the message or brand, without awareness of its persuasive content" (Buijzen, Van Reijmersdal & Owen, 2010, p. 430) and is particularly useful for analyzing military recruitment messages. The second level of young people's persuasion processing, heuris tic persuasion processing, involves a moderate level of elaboration. "Compared with the systematic


52 process, the recipient uses merely moderate to low levels of message attention and awareness, and a low motivation and ability to process the message. Within the heuristic process, the recipient looks for an easy way to form an overall evaluation of the product or brand and thus relies on relatively simple and low effort decision strategies" (Buijzen, Van Reijmersdal & Owen, 2010, p. 430 431). Finally, autom atic persuasion processing involves the lowest level of elaboration of the three levels. This type of processing involves implicit rather than explicit attention to the persuasive message (Buijzen, Van Reijmersdal & Owen, 2010). Recruitment messages in com mercial video games based on military scenarios are likely to be consumed via automatic persuasion processing. The PCMC model also has a RA/RR (resources allocated/resources required) ratio framework to theorize how media content can affect young people's processing of persuasive messages. Based on the limited capacity model of mediated message processing (LCMP; Lang, 2000), a receiver's level of processing depends upon the resources a receiver allocates to decode a message in comparison to the amount of r esources required to process a message. If the RA is high and the RR is low, the message will be moderately processed, with heuristic or noncritical systematic processing. If both the RA and the RR are high, the message will be processed via high elaborati on, thus critical systematic processing will occur. If the RA is low and the RR is high, the message will be too elaborate to process effectively; therefore, automatic or heuristic processing will occur. Finally, if both the RA and the RR are low, it is un likely that the message will be processed at all. See Table A 2 for a visual representation of the RA/RR ratio framework (Buijzen, Van Reijmersdal & Owen, 2010).


53 Even though the young people interviewed in this study are in the older stages of adolescenc e, their processing abilities are not mature Despite the development of "more mature cognitive skills, they are still in the midst of identity development, which may have important implications for the processing of commercial messages" (Buijzen et. al, 2 010, p. 433). Thus, the PCMC model may be a useful tool for understanding how young women process military recruitment messages. Through an analysis of the United States military's recruitment of women, the purpose of this dissertation is to expand upon e xisting research in a variety of disciplines, including advertising and gender studies. In order to gain a more detailed understanding about how the United States military is recruiting women, this project has two goals. The first goal is to analyze the co ntent of Web based materials that were developed by the military in an effort to recruit women. The final goal is to gain a deeper understanding of how young women in J ROTC and CAP programs interpret recruitment messages, particularly Web based materials d eveloped by the military in an effort to recruit women. The following research questions were constructed to guide this inquiry into how the United States military is recruiting women: RQ 1 What are the primary themes of Web based military recruitme nt mat erials that target women? RQ2 How are women's opportunities in the military portrayed in Web based rec ruitment materials? RQ 3 How are Web based military recruitment materials interpreted by young women in J ROTC and CAP programs?


54 To address these questi ons, qualitative content analysis methods were used to investigate the content of Web based materials, and in depth interviews were used to investigate how young women in J ROTC programs interpret recruitment messages. Specifics regarding the methodological approaches are detailed in the next chapter.


55 CHAPTER 3 METHODS A triangulated approach was used for this dissertation According to Lindlof evidence about an object of in quiry. Although it is typically a method of verification, This study first employed a qualitative content analysis (QCA) to analyze the media content. Next, in depth interviews were conducted in order to learn about how intended receivers (young women involved in JROTC programs) accessed and interpret ed the media messages. Finally, a narrowed QCA was conducted to f ocus on the media content that was accessed by particip ants. This final QCA also ensure d that the lens of the young women was taken into account when analyzing the Web content. Triangulated designs are particularly useful when aiming to describe media content and conduct inquiries focused on how receivers inte rpret message s According to Staley and Shockley Zalabak (1989), "the underlying assumption for using triangulation is that multiple sources and diverse data contribute better than single sources and methods to our understanding of research questions and t heir context" (p. 250). Details about the method are following. Q ualitative Content Analysis (Q CA ) From televised food advertisements (Roberts & Pettigrew 2007) to gambling advertisements (Sklar & Derevensky 2010) and from beauty product campaigns (Rho ads 2007) to advertisements for baby videos (Ryan 2010), QCA has become a useful methodology for studying advertising content. QCA s that have been developed and used to study traditional media can serve as a foundation for developing methods


56 to analyze W eb based content. For example, research focused on static online advertisements has used methods that were developed for analyzing print advertisements. Additionally, online video advertisements have been researched using similar methods as those employed to study television commercials. QCA provide s an opportunity to develop themes through an emergent design. The intent of QCA research is to promote reflection on and further analysis of dominant assumptions (Hayes & Smith, 1994) rather than a focus on "t he objective content of the message" (Marsh & White 2003, p. 651). Because QCAs of advertisements are based on emergent design predefined themes based on previous research guide d the study, but themes were modified, deleted, and added throughout the stud y. As themes emerge d during the analysis, the themes were reconceptualized and refined. "QCA constantly tests and revises those categories during and after the data collection process" (Thompson 1999, p. 156). Recent studies based on QCA have bridged the analysis of text based online content and the analysis of visual content. For example, Marsh and White (2003) used QCA to develop a taxonomy of relationships between online images and text. These types of studies bridge the use of text and images and ackno wledge the important relationship of text and images when presented together. An analysis that does not recognize all parts of a Web based message will likely miss important cues in encoding and decoding the messages. This holistic perspective is particula rly important in regards to research focused on Web based advertisements because a "holistic approach assumes that the whole is understood as a complex system that is greater than the sum of its parts" ( Patton, 2002 p. 59).


57 Many studies have focused on the deconstruction of websites based on features and content (e.g., Chandler 1998; Chandler & Roberts Young 2000; De Moya & Hwang 2009; Wakeford 2000). Chandler (1998) identified five generic features of personal home pages: themes, formulaic structure s, technical features, iconography, and modes of address. Wakeford (2000) proposed that although Chandler's (2000) 'Generic Features' list was "devised for personal homepages, the organization of these sections is a practical starting point for a study of other kind, or genres, of Web pages" (p. 34). These previous studies lay the groundwork for developing initial themes. There are differences that need to be taken into consideration when comparing static unidirectional (advertiser to audience) advertiseme nts that are presented traditionally (i.e., print or television) to Web based advertis e ments. According to Mitra and Cohen (1999), there are six characteristics of Web text that differentiate it from traditional texts. These six characteristics need to be taken into consideration when adopting a traditional research method such as QCA, for online media content. The first characteristic focuses on the overt intertextuality of online content. Unlike traditional texts, the reader can move effortlessly from one text to another via integrated links (Mitra and Cohen 1999). The second characteristic is that this overt intertextuality leads to a nonlinear text. Rather than having a distinct beginning, middle and end, online content i s nonlinear due to the reader 's ability to determine the organization of the content (Mitra and Cohen 1999). Mitra and Cohen's (1999) third characteristic focuses on the role of the reader/audience. Communication models have often focused on the reader/audience of mass media as the "receiver" who takes in the information in a relatively passive


58 manner, with few opportunities to engage in "feedback." With online content, however, the reader actively engages the content and makes conscious choices about which content she explore s and which content she neglect s The fourth characteristic focuses on the convergence of different kinds of representational strategies within online content. According to Mitra and Cohen (1999), "the written word is not only hyperactive in the WWW text, but it s meaning is constantly implicated by the multimedia images that accompany the text" (p. 188). Thus, it is important to consider a holistic approach to QCAs of Web materials. Fifth, online content has a far more immediate global reach than traditional med ia texts. Barriers of distance and time are virtually nonexistent. This also leads to Mitra and Cohen's (1999) final characteristic, the element of impermanence of online content. Most information posted on the Web can be removed by the author at any time. Thus, "unlike literary texts, media and communications texts are frequently ephemeral and therefore difficult to preserve for analysis" (Yell 2005 p. 11 ). For this reason, this dissertation focuses on online content as a snapshot of the W eb the conten t frozen at a specific time. D ue to the impermanence of online content, the Web based recruitment materials were captured using Camatasia Online advertisements often contain both images and textual messages; therefore, it is important to recognize that a analyzed if the study is isolated to one of these characteristics. Ideally, a holistic perspective should be employed so that both textual and visual messages are analyzed in relation to one another rather than as is olated variables (Patton 2002).


59 Data collection and analysis There are eight strategic steps to conducting a QCA: formulation, foundation, planning, inclusion, familiarization, initial review, comparison, and conclusion. In t he first step formulatio n, the problem statement was identified This QCA focuse d on an examin ation of how the United States military is recruiting women via the Web This is particularly important because recruitment messages may represent a of military culture. Furthermore, messages that are implied by the text, images, and videos on the recruitment website will likely help to set expectations and norms for the recruits. In the second step, foundation, I identified theoretical frameworks and the approach to the inquiry. These theoretical frameworks and the feminist approach were detailed in the third step, the planning stage. The literature review above details this foundation. Fourth, the inclusion step requires a carefully develop ed criter ia for the inclusion of specific Web based recruitment materials in the analysis Purposive sampling techniques were employed to choose Web based recruitment materials that were intended for women Details regarding the sample are provided in the upcoming "recruitment process" section. During the famili arization step, all of the Web materials included in the sample were reviewed for familiarization purposes. According to Helmers (2006), this first reaction primarily recognizes the emotional impact of the image 'First reactions' must become more aware; it is essential to move beyond them to achieve a level of understanding of the image" (Helmers 2006, p. 9). After the first review, the researcher


60 reconstruct ed themes ( i.e., revise d delete d add ed ) based on concepts that emerge d during the familiarization step. The initial review step focuses on reviewing each page individually and analyz ing all parts of each advertisement's content (audio, textual, visual, etc.) concurrently. Again, a holistic perspect ive is essential so all parts of the content are analyzed simultaneously rather than in isolation. All content in a webpage works together to create meaning ; thus c onsidering each part in isolation will not likely provide an appropriate interpretation of t he website Helmers (2006) recommends a process for reading visuals that contains five steps. This is a useful framework for reviewing advertisements for the purposes of a QCA; however, two of the steps Helmers (2006) identifies are not included for the purposes of this paper because they were not directly applicable at this point of the 06) other steps focuses on the point of production (including interviews with the creators). Thus, t hree of Helmers (2006) steps were used for rereading images during the initial revi ew step of the QCA In addition, a fourth step w as created to reflect pr evious research concerns. Note that these four steps were in addition to the initial reading that was conducted during the familiarization step; thus, each webpage was read a minimum of initial review are following. In the first rereading in the initial review it is important to focus on the formal elements. "Formal elements of the image...relate to the form, or design and


61 arrangement, of an entire composition" (Helmers 2006, p. 10). For webpages the formal elements include the layout, design elements, and Web site attributes and characteristics. The design elements include headline, visual (photograph/art/other), copy, logo, color, typography, and any other element s presented (Rhoads 2007). Website attributes include the CSS (cascading style sheets), borders, and panels. Website characteris tics include links, the use of F lash, audio, video, online games, and other tools used to further engage the consumer. The second rereading was created as a result of the previous research (not a part of the original steps developed by Helmers). When analyzing textual and visual information simultaneously, it is important to consider how the two forms of information interact. Does the visual have little relation to the text? Are the visual and the textual information closely related ? Does the visual function in a way that goes beyond the textual information provided via the advertisement's copy? Marsh and White (2003) provided a taxonomy of functio ns of images in relation to textual information ( T able A 3 ), providing an effective springboard for developing themes to describe how the textual and visual information interact. The third rereading focuses on the cultural context in which the image is r epresented (Helmers 2006). According to Helmers (2006), "this level of reading engages the image as a persuasive document" (p. 10). The message should be considered in terms of its persuasive intent for potential recruits. Finally, the fourth rereading o f the advertisements involves using a "critical eye to address the emotion" (Helmers 2006, p. 11). This allows the researcher the opportunity to fully address all of the implications of the message and consider possible alternative


62 interpretations. A criti cal analysis allows the researcher to develop an understanding of the implications of the messages. This process of rereading the advertisements is necessary for prolonged engagement with the sample. At this point, the QCA was too broad; therefo re, I conducted the in depth interviews to narrow the QCA to only those specific sections that were identified for consideration during the in depth interviews. The participants in the in depth interviews identified a primary (and often sole) interest in t he Careers sections of the websites. To further narrow the study, I narrowed the QCA to only those webpages within the Career sections that targeted high school aged women who were not considering college as an option The search feature of the Air Force narrow the sample to only those careers that were open to individuals with a high school education. This yielded 120 individual career pages for the analysis. Because the videos were not linked to the Career pag The Navy website did not have a search feature to narrow choices on their website; however, many of their career pages were not focused on a single job Specialist and Broadcast Journalist career pages). For this reason, all 6 0 pages of the individual career


63 specially developed for that particular section. Although some of the content is similar to that of webpages in the Careers section, the information is often presented differently, particularly in regards to sex differences. In many instances, whether or not the position job listing in the Careers section. Even though there were fewer individual pages included in the Navy website than the Air Force or Navy websites, t he analysis for the Navy took considerably longer due to the integration of videos on nearly every career page. It appeared as if the Careers section is in the middle of a period of development because some pages included many links to videos and more sophisticated use of graphics to highlight quotes from sailors. For example, the Submarine Officer webpage included nine videos ranging from 45 seconds to 5 minute s in length. The Careers section of the Army website included a sophisticated advanced search tool. For this reason, it was quite easy to narrow down the analysis to include only jobs that were active duty, enlisted positions that were open to women. All of these were searchable features via the advanced search tool on the website. This search yielded 131 positions that fit the search criteria. Because the link to the videos section of the website was buried at the bottom of the website, that section was not included in the analysis. All videos that were featured on the homepage and the handful of videos that were linked to via the career pages were included in the final analysis.


64 Because all users navigated to the Career sections of the webs ites via the homepage s all content that was presented on the homepage s including links to specific career pages, and videos, was included in the final analysis as well. The seventh strategic step for conducting a QCA is the comparison step. In this s tep, themes that were generated throughout the research process were finalized This required the researcher to conduct a final analysis to ensure that themes were accurately applied. Camtasia a software program that captures all on screen computer activi ty, was also employed at this point to capture the web content that was included in the analysis. Camtasia has an option to record two audio tracks; therefore, the audio source from the computer (particularly audio for videos) was recorded on one track and a nother track was used to record voice narration containing the analysis. This provides the user with the opportunity to listen to both concurrently, or to remove o ne track so the user can focus on one of the audio tracks. This provides the opportunity to show the videos with or without the narration in the future. Using Camtasia also serves as an ideal way to capture a snapshot of how the websites appeared at the time of the analysis. Some pages on the websites were updated over the time of the analysis; therefore, using Camtasia provided an opportunity to freeze the images, text and video at that specific time so they can be reviewed in future analyses The final strategic step is to develop conclusions based on the themes that emerged in the research p rocess. The main findings were explained through specific e xamples and screenshots to support the data. A d etailed limitations section and insights rega rding future research will also be provided during the conclusions step.


65 Recruitment process Websites chosen for inclusion in this project were selected through p urposive sampling techniques The recruitment Websites of the Air Force, Army, and Navy were included in the QCA The Marines and Coast Guard were excluded because the Marines are not recruiting w omen nearly as actively as the Air Force, Army, and Navy. Even though the Coast Guard is considered a military service, it is excluded from this study because it is c onsidered part of the Department of Homeland Security ( United States Coast Guard 201 2 ). The only content excluded from the initial QCA of each recruitment based website were sections that appeared to be irrelevant to participants in the in depth interviews such as s ections that focused on higher level skill sets (usually requiring a minimum advanced degree or a high level of expertise). These information rich Websites provide the most effective sample for learning about how the United States military is recruiting women via the Web. Specific details regarding the selection of specific website s and pages for each branch are following. The Air Force's official Website (www.airforce.mil) has a link titled "Join the Air Force" that redirects to a recruiting Website (www.airforce.com) Only one area of the AirForce.com Website will be excluded fro m the analysis. More specifically, a subsection of the "Joining the Air Force" section titled "Direct Commission Officer" (DCO) target ed individuals who already "have a career relevant degree or postgraduate degree" and are "licensed and eligible to practi ce" in a specific field ( U. S. Air Force, 2012) T he participants in the in depth interviews will not likely qualify for a DCO position at this point ; therefore this subsection was excluded from the QCA. For the


66 initial analysis, all of the remaining cont ent (i.e., text, video, audio ) from the AirForce.com w ebsite was included in the initial QCA. The Army's official Website (www.army.mil) has a section titled "Join" that provides links to "Active," National Guard," "Reserve," and "Civilian Service." This project focuses on recruitments to active service; therefore, the "Active" link was selected. The "Active" link redirects the user to the Army's recruitment Website (www.goarmy.com). The only sections of the GoArmy.com Website that were excluded fr om the QCA were the "Army ROTC" and "Officership" sections. Because participants in the in depth interviews were already enrolled in J ROTC level programs and they were not planning to attend college level ROTC programs for the most part that particular section w as not critical to this study. Additionally, the "Officership" section pertain ed to more qualified individuals (minimum qualifications required college degrees and/or higher levels of expertise and specialization) than the participants in the in depth i nte r views had attained ; therefore, that section is also not relevant to this project. All of the remaining content from the goarmy.com Website, including te xt, video, audio, and links were included in the initial QCA. It is important to note that t he Army.co m Website will not be included in this study. That particular website looks as if it is affiliated with the United States Army due to the focus on recruitment; however, Ar my.com is owned by FanMail.com, L.L.C. and is not affiliated, owned, or managed by t he United States Army or the military and/or government of any country" (FanMail.com, 2012). The site is operated by former military members and families in order to share their "enthusiasm for the US Army and to assist those serving our country" (FanMail. com, 2012).


67 Similar to the other military Websites, the official website of the Navy (www.navy.mil) has a "Careers" link on the main page t hat redirects to a recruitment w ebsite (www.navy.com). All of the content (i.e., text, video, audio) on the Navy.com w ebsite was be included in the initial QCA sample. After analyzing each of the Websites several times, the researcher was familiar with the content and organization. At this point, the researcher conducted in depth interviews with young women in JROTC and CAP programs in order to gain insight about the Web materials and to narrow the focus of the more in depth QCA (as detailed above in the methods section) Trustworthiness of the findings For QCAs, v alidity focuses on effective construction of research instruments. According to Patton (2002), in qualitative research, "the researcher is the instrument" (p. 14); therefore, the credibility of a QCA "hinges to a great extent on the skill, competence, and rigor (p. 14) of the individuals developing the theme s. Training, careful attention to detail and adhering to scholarly standards further strengthens validity. Validity was strengthened in this study through the use of Camtasia software that enabled the researcher to capture every part of the websites, alon U sing Camtasia, I recorded all of the website content as well as a n additional track containing my voiceover commentary during the final analysis. The final analysis was captured in 36 video files ( 15 for the Air Force, 7 for the Army, and 14 for the Navy) that represent approximately 45 minutes of analysis each. I lost all data when I tri ed to record more than an hour s worth of analysis in a single file ; therefore, I made an effort to limit the len gth of each Camtasia video file to no more than 50 minutes Recording


68 the analysis via Camtasia ensured that a snapshot of the websites was captured at the moment in time when I accessed them for the analysis. This also provi ded a useful archiving tool to verify content during the writing process and for future analyses. The only disadvantage to capturing the analysis via Camtasia videos is that it required nearly 80 GB of data storage space. During a QCA, it is also important to ensure that the s ample i s representative of the website content over time. For example, Lab re and Walsh Childers (2003) returned to the website on two different future dates to ensure the content of the sample was typical of the w eb sites and not an anomaly If the sample is not r epresentative of the content over time this needs to be addressed in the study. The initial analyse s for this study were conducted over the summer of 2012 and the final analysis was conducted later that same year during the winter months. Although I noted some differences in the websites over that period of time, the overall content remained the same. The largest differences had to do with the addition of content on several pages rather than an overhaul of an entire website. QCA can be triangulated by me thod to strengthen the credibility of the study. Thus, the next section details how in depth interviews with the target audience of Web based recruitment materials strengthen ed the findings of this dissertation. In Depth Interviews In depth interviews ca n provide an opportunity to learn about intended receivers' interpretations of media messages ; therefore, it was important to speak with young women who were being recruited by the United States military to gain their insights about the w ebsites In depth interviews, also referred to as long interviews, are "intended to accomplish certain ethnographic objectives without committing the


69 investigator to intimate, repeated, and prolonged involvement in the life and community of the respondent" (McCracken, 1988, p. 7). These interviews provided the researcher with an opportunity to view the Websites through the lenses of the intended receivers, analysis of the Web content. Recruitment p rocess Historically, the United States military has been successful with recruitment efforts in the Southern states (Marsman, 2009) Furthermore, recruitment efforts have been successful in regions that are close in proximity to military establishments, p articularly bases. Marsman (2009) noted that "the proximity of air bases creates a synergy whereby Air Force recruiters continue to draw heavily from increasingly smaller cultures and communities" (p. 45). Therefore, Central Florida was an ideal geographic region for recruiting young women for this particular study. Central Florida has a strong military influence due to the proximity of the s pace p rogram and Patrick Air Force Base on the east coast, MacDill Air Force Base on the west coast, and a long histo ry of military establishments in the Orlando area (i.e., the McCoy Naval Annex, Veteran's Administration, numerous reserve units) Participants were recruited through J ROTC and Civil Air Patrol (CAP; Air Force Auxillary) cadet programs in Central Florida. These organizations are particularly diverse and have a large number of members in contra st to other areas in the state Participants range d in age from 1 4 to 1 8 years old. Because most of these young women were legally "children" at the time of the interv iews, special consideration from the Institutional Review Board was obtained, and parental consent was acquired, when necessary (See Appendices A, B and C for consent and assent forms)


70 Interviews range d from just over an hour in length to an hour and a h alf. As a token of appreciation for their participation in the project, p articipants were provided with a gift card to the store of their choice Before beginning the interview, basic demographic information was obtained. The interview was conducted via a n emergent design; therefore, an interview instrument was constructed beforehand to guide the interview ( Appendix D), but the interview was not limited to the instrument. This was in the Web materials, and at times when the young women disclosed personal information about themselves that could not have been anticipated beforehand. The six young women included in the study were from three different counties in Central Florida. All o f the young women were highly involved in JROTC programs through their local high schools and one of the women was involved in both the local JROTC program and the local CAP cadet program. The women ranged in age from 14 to 18 years of age and were from di verse racial backgrounds. Three of the women self identified as White, two self identified as African American, and one self identified as Hispanic. One of the women who self identified as White noted during the interview that her family was Puerto Rican. Her JROTC commander also mentioned that she had self identified as Hispanic on other occasions. Four of the participants self identified as heterosexual and two of the participants self identified as lesbian. Three of the young women were Seniors, two were Juniors, and one was a Freshman in high school. All of the young women held leadership positions in the JROTC program and two of them had recently signed enlistment paperwork for the Army. The two participants who enlisted will attend boot camp immediatel y after they graduate from high school this year.


71 All of the participants were interviewed in settings that were convenient and comfortable for them. Two of the women chose to meet with the researcher in private rooms at local public libraries and the othe r four women chose to meet in rooms in the JROTC complex at their high school. In the JROTC complexes, most of the women were interviewed in empty JROTC classrooms where we were provided privacy for the interviews. Due to a lack of private spaces at one JR OTC complex, one woman chose to be interviewed in a large closet where guns and ammunition were stored. Although the massive gun room was a bit intimidating for the researcher, the young woman was not fazed by the environment at all. She even commented abo ut how much of her free time was spent maintaining equipment inside the room. All but one of the participants were interviewed with live versions of the websites available. One of the high schools had a technical issue with their wifi on the day of our in terview ; therefore, we were not able to view the website live during that particular interview. Fortunately, the researcher had saved some screenshots of the pages that previous participants had expressed interest in; therefore, the screenshots were used a s prompts for discussing the websites for that particular interview. All of the participants agreed to be interviewed again after the next stage of their recruitment process. For young women who are involved in JROTC programs, there was an agreement to me et again during the next school year. For participants who had enlisted in the armed services, there was an agreement to meet after boot camp and/or the initial training regiment. All of the young women agreed to participate in a larger longitudinal study with the researcher.


72 Data collection and analysis With the exception of one interview, all of the interviews were audio recorded using Audacity software. There was a technical issue with the microphone for one of the interviews; therefore, the researcher relied upon a back up plan and used a voice recorder on her cell phone to record that particular interview. A professional transcriber create d initial t ranscriptions from the audio recordings. Specific instructions were provided to the transcriber to ens ure that all pauses (including vocalized pauses) and nonfluencies (such as um, like, etc.) were included in the transcription. The final transcripts included 197 pages of interview data. Individual transcripts ranged from 22 to 45 pages in length, with an average of 33 pages per interview. These transcripts represented seven hours and forty minutes of interviews, with interviews ranging from just over an hour in length to an hour an a half. The average interview was an hour and seventeen minutes in length. Pseudonyms were assigned to each participant based on an online random name generator (i.e., Campbell, 2013). The researcher then compared the transcriptions with the audio recordings and made minor manual adjustments to ensure that the transcription s wer e exact match es to the audio recording s Most of the adjustments were based on simple errors, such as following exchange: Um, she actually works in the public affairs off ice. She does, like, event oddball


73 Otherwise, the transcriptions were accurate and represented the language of each participant well. Checking the transcripts for accuracy also provided the rese archer with another opportunity to become re familiarized with the interviews. After ensuring the accuracy of the transcriptions, the researcher went through each transcription individually and color coded themes that emerged through the initial interview s and the review s of the transcription s As more themes emerged that related to the QCA data, additional themes were coded and included in the study. The researcher analyzed the transcripts word for word three times before determining that the themes had b een well defined and noted in each interview. The interview data was then used to inform the final QCA and the themes were integrated in the final QCA, voices to support themes Trustworthiness of the findings Feminist researc h values the mutual formation of knowledge. To engage in mutual and reciprocal communication, "the interviewer must be prepared to invest her own personality in the relationship through answering questions and validating women's personal experiences" (Lang ellier & Hall, 1989, p. 203). Although themes were constructed th r ough interconnections in the interview transcripts, it is important to note that the researcher subjectivity may have influenced this project More specifically, I identify myself as a Wh ite, upper middle class, middle aged woman. I also have family members who honorably served in the United States Air Force, Army, and Navy. These family members proudly fought in the Vietnam War and in both the European and Pacific theaters of World War II In addition, my life partner is an active member of the United States Civil Air Patrol (CAP).


74 Although I have a strong family history of military involvement in my family, I have never lived on a military base and my father was honorably discharged fro m the military before I was born. Thus, I have some experience with the military culture even though the military was never a large influence in my personal life or culture. For this reason, I am uniquely positioned as an observer who understands many of t he cultural assumptions and practices of the military; however, I am not blinded by preconceived notions about military culture. My unique position is ideal for attaining my goals for this dissertation: to provide insights regarding how the United States m ilitary uses the Web to recruit women, and how women interpret those messages. It was also important to self di s close relevant parts of my identity during the interviews. Self disclosure represented an important part of the recruitment process for this st udy as well as an important tool for maintaining rapport before, during, and after the interviews.


75 CHAPTER 4 FINDINGS In this chapter, I will outline the major findings of this study. Because branch preferences are a strong indicator regarding which webs ites potential recruits will access, branch preferences are taken under consideration in the first section of this chapter The voices of the young women who were interviewed for this study are integrated into the content to clarify the issues regarding br anch preferences. Recommendations are provided to specific branches for improving the perception of their brand so their branch appeals to a wider audience. In the second section, I explain the foundation for the initial development of themes. The third s ection details differentiations in how the different branches integrate information pertaining directly to the recruitment of women in their recruitment websites. Each branch is considered individually, and then the results of a qualitative content analysi isolation, family and friends, travel, empowerment, activity level, and feminine features. Each o f these themes is described and examples are provided to provide details about each one In the fourth section the results of the qualitative content analysis of the Careers sections of the Air Force, Army, and Navy recruitment websites are presented. Thr ough the QCA, eight themes emerged: language issues, demographic representations, activity level, authority, isolation, facial expressions, feminine features, and heterosexist


76 during the in depth interviews, along with those that were revealed during the QCA, are used to support each theme. Finally, this chapter concludes with three case studies of videos that are represented on the recruitment websites. These videos are explai ned in detail to show how themes are represented in the website materials and how they interact. The first two case stud ies focus on featured profile videos : Master At Arms (gunner) Me lanie Molina and Aviation Structural Mechanic Amanda Hodges The third case study focuses on a video from the Surface Warfare Officers recruitment website that features three officers (one female and two male). All three of these videos are good example of intersecting themes that are represented throughout the recruitment websites Branch P references Each of the young women interviewed for this project had strong feelings about branch preferences. The branch that was affiliated with the cadet program (JROTC or CAP) they were involved in branch preferences. For example, Linda stated: about changing serv ices, because it is kind of difficult with the different formalities and everything. And I just love the Army. The young women noted their comfort level in understanding the formalities, organizational structure, and language of their particular branch. Th eir familiarity with the branch associated with their cadet program often led them to aspire to join that particular branch.


77 Several of the participants mentioned that leaders in the JROTC program were their best resources for career opportunities and mil itary options. In regards to the JROTC leaders, Mirinda mentioned that is e primary reason why JROTC leaders were considered highly influential. Previous research has also noted the importance of JROTC leaders as influencers in the recruitment process ( Harkey, Reid & King, 1988). The Air Force was often literally referred to as by participants in this study. For example, Linda A ir F There was also the impression that the Air Force would require higher education. Agnes sta choose the Air F orce because they told me I have to go to school for two years, so I the job training. The misconception that the Air For ce is limite d to intellectually based technical careers often led the participants to dismiss the Air Force as an option for them. Although the Air Force prides itself on its technological advancements, they also need support personnel who are not required to obtain h igher education. Military police officers, cooks, clerical staff members, and flight attendants are all needed in the Air Force and these positions often do not have higher educational requirements. If the Air Force experiences difficulties with recruitin g support personnel, they may want to consider providing more information about these types of opportunities in their recruitment materials.


78 The Marines were quickly discarded as a n option for the women in this study (further evidence that supports the ex clusion of the USMC recruitment website from the QCA ). Overall, based on the comments by the young women in this study, if the Marines want to recruit women, there are some considerable image issues that need to be addressed. In fact, t he women had very fe w positive words to describe the Marines. Linda Previous research has noted the importance of recruiters as influenc ers in the recruitment process ( Harkey, Reid & King, 1988) ; therefore, the off putting behavior of branch. The young women who were interviewed in this study explained their relationship with the recruiters in more detail. For example, Linda had a particularly close relationship with her Army recruiters: they knew they kind of called me, not like, their favorite future soldier, but their like, one of the best because they knew they could count on me, they had and they they loved me. (Laughs) She also likened her relationship to them as a part of her family: And I love the r ecruiters; the army recruiters are so amazing. You know, the guy that I actually talked to is supposed to be, like, the hard guy. But he is so nice to me and he loves me and older brother to me. I just get along with him so well. Linda me, and


79 Linda experience with Army recruiters greatly contrasts with her statements about the Marine recruiters. interpersonal connections are important for effectively recruiting personnel. Cindy mentioned that the more like supply and infantry and all that Mirinda also noted that the Marines: are very, um like, I can probably do it if I put my mind to it, but it would be a lot of work. And the Army would be a lot of work too, but the Marines are definitely Selene n the Marines as her primary reason for not considering that branch: st arted not really liking the M I arine n Selene family and friends are also important influencers in regard to military recruitment ( Harkey, Reid & King, 1988). Several of the particip ants noted that friends and family members who were in the military were influential in a number of ways, particularly in the choice of a specific military branch. Interestingly, friends and family members who were in the military did not always recommend that the young woman choose their branch. Quite often their advice swayed women to think more about different branches. Uma in the Army and she has an uncle and brother in the Marines. Her brother encouraged her to look into the Navy ins tead of the Marines.


80 done with his years the Cindy has two uncles who are both in the Army; however, she is leaning toward joining the Air Force due to a recommendation of one of her uncles: Um, well, my uncle told me that the Army is good, and t hen the Air Force is good too. But he feels that the Air Force treats women a little bit better than A ir F orce The young women were more likely to ta ke advice from friends and family members who were in the military without further critique. Cindy noted that her mother, guidance counselor, the Colonel (leader of her JROTC program), and uncle were the most influential people in regard to her decision t o join the military. She mentioned that her mom was most important in terms of social support and said, I think well, I chose my mom because I know that a S everal of the participants also noted that one of their parents was very research as possible. For example, Linda stated, My father is a very research person, and he wanted to make sure that I now, whatever, that I knew what I was going into, that I Thus, for the young women interviewed for this study, family members were important influencers when it came to choosing a military branch.


81 T he Navy was oft e n disregarded if the young wome n were not fond of boats or the water in general. Linda Similarly, Agnes remarked that: I know that probably in the A ave to do it sometime. But the N avy is just Similarly, Keysha noted that bothers me. Mirinda also mentioned the issu e with water; however, she also mentioned a perception about the integration of women in the Navy: They really I think they really favor males, and they do a lot of swimming, I really think they do f avor, uh, males. When asked for clarification about the notion of favoritism, Mirinda explained that Um, because everything I see me N avy recruiters, and when they show us, like, the slideshows or information, it does, it does say that, um, that they prefer males. I mean, some females have made it, the chances of a female making it is not not high. When asked if the recruiters literally say this or if they have the information on a slide, Mirinda re sponded that No T the best. They want the best. Ultimately, Mirinda ranked the Navy last on her list of potential branches, even below the avy does physical work too but they do a lot of water


82 Over branch choices. Young women were reluctant to consider branches that were not recommended by family and friends who had military experience. They were heavily influenced the leadership in their cadet program and by the recruiters who established interpersonal relationships with them. Understanding how branch preferences are established is important in the recruitment process. The y oung women who were interviewed in this study were extrem ely reluctant to even look at recruitment websites for br anches that they did not prefer and when asked to do so, they were clearly disengaged. Developing themes The themes developed in Padilla and Laner's (2002) qualitative content analysis of military r ecruitment materials included patriotism, adventure/challenge, job/career/education, social status, money, travel, and a miscellaneous category. Although the themes developed by Padilla and Laner (2002) certainly a pply to the recruitment w ebsites, they do not reveal issues regarding gender specifically. For this focus on gender issues. The themes used to analyze recruitment advertisements in magazines in the Brown (2012) st udy were more relevant to this particular study. Both studies informed the initial development of themes for the qualitative content analysis for this study. Integration of Information P ertaining to W omen The three branches of the United States military th at were analyzed in this dissertation (the Air Force, Army, and Navy) have different strategies that are represented on their recruitment websites The Air Force does not mention sex or


83 gender explicitly except when the position is closed to women, wherea s the Military Occupational S pecialty (MOS) there are fewer positions that exclude women ( U. S. Air Force, 2013 ) There are not any other special n otations on the Air Force recruitment website that identify women as different from men; therefore, for the most part, the Air Force treat s women and men similarly in terms of the formatting and organization of their website materials. The Army presents i nformation pertaining directly to women using a different tactic. They have a bar that appears on each job listing that notes whether or not the position is open to women; therefore, women are noted explicitly for every position available in the Army On t he bar underneath the image, a green checkmark indicates if a MOS is open to women, and a n ( Appendix E for s creenshot s ). In addition, there is a search filter available so a woman can search Army careers that ar opportunities that are not available to women; however, it also makes it easy for women to clearly differentiate which jobs are open to them Many of the young women who were interviewed made career pages. For example, Cindy when she clicked on a career page: It says, like, the checkmarks for what you could, like, where you can do the job like you can officer if you do this job, I guess, if it says the And then opportunity that men can with certain jobs


84 When comparing the formats of the Air Force and Army career pages, the young bar that clearly noted whether or not the position was open to women. Selene li ke it on the bottom because it Cindy also preferred format to the Air only noting exclusions She stated ally see anything on the A ir F orce one saying if it was open to women, so I would say that for this particular website it would be a the other website the A i r F orce one. For the 1% of job opportunities in the Air Force that are not currently open to women (U. S. Air Force, 2013) the Air Force website notes those with the addition of a umber of job opportunities that are available to women in the Air Force, particularly in comparison to the Army and Navy. To have a bar on each job listing that notes whether or not the tuation. Thus, it makes sense that the Air Force only makes notations to indicate sex based exclusions on the 1% of job opportunities that are excluded from equal opportunity. However, the addition of a specific notation may provide a way to clarify the le vel of inclusion for potential women recruits, particularly because the young women in this study were not aware of the level of inclusion. A bar to clarify inclusion could clarify the information for potential recruits. The Navy uses an entirely different strategy for appealing to potential women recruits. They have an entire section of their website that specifically targets potential women recruits W omen in the Navy (WIN) section is one of the main menu


85 options in the section of the recruitment website and it contains 14 pages that are dedicated solely to women. The information, however, is presented often in a superficial manner. Although none of the young women interviewed for this study were e nticed to click on this section, th is direct attempt to appeal to women is worthy of further inquiry and analysis When asked about how the information was presented, many of the women questioned why they would need a separate section that reinforced differences. Differences are noted as t hemes in the text, visuals, and videos represented in the WIN section of the website, though. This is similar to concerns addressed by Megens and treatment in the recruitment m he WIN section of the Website opens with a direct appeal to women: responsibilities are significant. The respect is well earned. The lifestyle is liberating. And the chance to push limits personally and professionally is an equal opportunity for women and men alike. Take on a Role That Defies Convention rede fined in the Navy. Stereotypes are overridden by determination, by hands action. And women who seek to pursu e what some may consider male in any of dozens of dynamic fields. This introduction effectively highlights some of the main themes that emerged for information provided on these pages : isolation, famil y and friends travel, empowerment activity level, and feminine features. Descriptions and examples for each of these themes are detailed in the following pages.


86 Isolation. Although women were represented in a wide variety of jobs, women in the WIN sectio n were often represented in isolation from other women. They were represented in male dominated environments; therefore, they appeared more as tokens than as women who were fully integrated into the Navy. Furthermore, t he women were often represented as th Previous research has expressed ambivalence about women, making token reference to the possibility that they might be sailor Megens and Wings (1981) also noted that In the WIN section of the website, when the featured women were shown working their co workers were all typical ly men. Very rarely was a military woman shown working with a female co worker. For example, in the video that hig hlights Lynn Rodriguez, a Navy d iver, she refers to other Navy divers as men without exception. No other women are visible in her working envi ronment. These representations in the videos in the WIN section of the website undercut the idea that women are a regular part of th e Navy. Family and f riends References to family and friends are noted on many of the featured profiles WIN section For example, Seabee d iver Lynn Rodriguez in the text of the webpage that features her : likes going hiking, working out, swimming and spinning. This helps her stay Similarly, i n a featured profile of Intelligence Specialist Carina Stone, her concerns about motherhood are mentioned as a thread in the text on her profile page : After getting pregnant, Carina was give up on her dreams of joining the Navy. She found out about the Navy Reserve and began to consider it as an option. She knew this meant being


87 away from her son during Boot Camp, training and possibly deployment, but she knew it would have a major positive impact on them in the long run. Issues regarding family and friends are not isolated to the profiles of featured women in the WIN section These issues are a lso noted in the text of the WIN portion of the website: And keeping up with family and friends is easy. The Navy provides mail people you This emphasis on personal relationships is only evident in the WIN recruitment website. In other parts of the website, personal relationships are rarely mentioned at a ll One of the young women I interviewed as a part of this study mentioned the importance of personal relationships when I asked about the disadvantages of joining the armed forces. Mirinda said ep up with your family, but you can keep up with your family. They made ways. But you Several of the participants mentioned that they were concerned about personal Travel. Similar to previous analyses of recruitment materials (Brown, 2012; Megens & Wings, 1981; Padilla & Laner, 2002), one of the overall themes for the recruitment materials on the websites focused on travel and the opportunity to visit foreign lands. This theme was further personalized and emphasized in the WIN section through the featured profiles of individual sailors. For example, in the featured profile of


88 Kirkpatrick states in a vi deo In featured profile, the travel theme is used in the text to introduce her: Growing up, Lynn always knew she wanted to travel the world. She decide d to visit the local Navy Recruiter and ended up enlisting right out of high school. In these ways the WIN section uses the integration of quotes and aspirations from individual women to further highlight and personalize travel opportunities Interestingly although travel was frequently mentioned in the WIN section, the majority of comments are vague. Rarely did a featured woman note where she had travelled and/or how much time was spent experiencing different culture s Details are invisible in that regard Empowerment The notion of empowerment was also represented throughout the WIN section of the website yet in many ways it was not represented in an authentic manner Similar to Padilla and Laner social status category, the empowerment theme of ten focused on how a "recruit's status could be enhanced by enlisting" (Padilla & Laner, 2003, p. 115) ; however, the empowerment theme was often based on perceived self confidence rather than leadership and career advancement For example, Diving Medical Technician Ashley Wagner states in her video that he Navy proved to me that I had more to offer than what I thought. It has been a long In another one of the featured profile video s, Master At Arms Melanie Molina states N ow, I try to do anything people say I This theme is also noted in the text based summaries of featured profiles. For example, the profile of A manda Hodges, an Avi ation Structural Mechanic, notes that dominated field and feels confident that


89 In statements such as this, the women in the Navy noted that there was a patriarchal hierarchy and that they felt empowered when they became a member of the culture. The statements are largely self reports about how the women feel empowered by being a member of the male dominated culture. Thus, by simply working with men, women are empowered. This mp owerment is solely based actualized form of empowerment. This empowerment theme was exclusive to the WIN section and was not a major theme in other sections of the webs ite that targeted potential recruits. Activity level Previous research has noted concerns about whether women are represented on recruitment materials in active or passive activities. Unfortunately, women are overrepresented in passive activities (primari ly being interviewed) rather than engaged in active work activities in the WIN materials. For example, Captain Cynthia Izuno Macri is featured as a Gynecologic Oncologist and the Special Assistant for Diversity to the Chief of Naval Operations in a video in the profile section In the video, she is featured in an interview situation rather than as engaged in work Her voice is frequently used as a voiceover with images of medical practitioners engaged in work; however, she is not featured as a worker in th ese images This is typical of many of the videos featuring women in the WIN section of the website. voice s are heard and the women are represented visually ; however, they are not visually represented as actively engaged in work In ano ther video i n the WIN profile section, Intelligence Specialist Carina Stone is p ortrayed as enjoying time with family, and engaged in hobbies; however, she is not


90 shown working at all. The only visual evidence that we have of her Navy work experience is when she is seated wearing her battle dress uniform ( BDU s) in the static interview shots. Another video in this section features Stephanie Kirkpatrick, an Aviation during her voice o ver, none of the workplace images appear to feature Kirkpatrick. She is primarily in an interview setting during the video, and is featured posing in dress uniform at the very end. She is not portrayed as actively working in her profile video, and ironical ly, the few close up shots in the video of individuals actively engaged in work clearly feature men ( Appendix F for screenshots of this video). Feminine features When the women in the videos of the WIN section had a feminine feature, that particular par t of their self seemed to be represented disproportionately. For example, in a part of the video of Ri dley Shetler, a Nuclear Propulsion Officer Candidate (NUPOC) the camera zooms in and focuses on her French manicured nails. T his shot focuses on her nail s as a marker of femininity ( Appendix G ) Other videos feature women wearing feminine earrings, including ones that would not be permissible with a military uniform ( Appendix F ) Historically, Brown (2012) noted that military women have been subtly femini zed through the use of makeup, jewelry, and manicured fingernails. In most of the featured profile videos in the WIN section, women were visibly wearing makeup. This is also t advertisement. When comparing how a man and a woman were portrayed, Megens and


91 (p. 44). Brown (2012) also noted that the appear ance of feminine features in recruitment images may serve as a means of maintaining an appropriate level of femininity as a standard for military women: Women are offered the chance to take on broader roles and experiences, but their femininity will not be diminished in the process. The Army may be also sending a signal that it is only interested in attracting the type of is looking to escape gender roles entirely or who looks or acts in ways society codes as masculine. (p. 157). The emphasis on feminine features may serve as a way to indicate that potential recruits should not abandon traditional standards of femininity. Linda o ne of the participants in the interviews had a more mas culine hairstyle. Her fauxhawk hairstyle was a variation of m ohawk; however, the sides were not shaved and the hair on the top was shorter than a traditional mohawk hairstyle. Due to her more masculine hairstyle, she expressed a concern about whether that would be acceptable in the Army. In doing so, she received some conflicting information from two reliable sources. She said: I could have my hair short, like, really short, an d because one of my have a female haircut because they have to distinguish between males and fine. Her fr iend who is a military police (MP) officer in the Army told her that she would need a female appropriate haircut; however, the recruiter told her that it would be acceptable have concerns about how balancing their gender performance through their appearance. According to Brown (2012), the visual and rhetorical emphasis on femininity


92 he r feminine identity and make her unrecognizable to herself. A woman in the Army is Thus, potential female recruits are encouraged to maintain an appropriate level of femininity. Summary of themes in the WIN section. Half of the ma in themes that emerged in the WIN section were also evident in the content targeting women in the Careers section s of the recruitment websites. More specifically, isolation, activity level, and feminine features are themes that will be revisited in the lar ger analysis of the Careers sections of the recruitment websites. Themes that were exclusive to the WIN section included family and friends, travel, and empowerment. There are some issues with having a separate WIN section dedicated to women rather than integrating the information throughout the website. Presenting a separate WIN in the culture. Participants in the interviews questioned the need for this separation and did not find it appealing at all. Because many of the themes are not necessarily exclusive concerns of women integrating the information from the WIN section throughout the website would more effectively indicate the inclusion of women in the also addressing concerns that may be an issue for men as well (such as family and friends and travel ). Also, when female personnel are featured in videos, how the environment is represented should be taken into consideration Portraying a more diverse w orkforce that includes more women would lessen the appearance of tokenism.


93 Additionally, the featured profiles in the WIN section are organized alphabetically on the page last n ame rather than their rank or MOS. Because the profil es are arranged by name rather than MOS, it is cumbersome to find a profile that relates to a particular MOS or rank. If a potential woman recruit is interested in the NUPOC program, she probably will not be as engaged by a video about a woman who is a Mas ter At Arms (gunner), and vice versa. Isolating the videos to a section differentiated by sex and organizing them by last name rather than MOS identifies the sailors primarily based on their sex, with their MOS positioned as a cursory cons ideration. This p sex over their membership in the Navy marginalizes their military participation To rectify this issue, the Navy can simply integrate the recruitment web site. Themes that Emerged in the Analysis of Career Sections of Recruitment Websites This section of the chapter focuses on the results of the qualitative content analysis of the Careers sections of the Air Force, Army, and Navy recruitment websites. Thro ugh the QCA, eight themes emerged: language issues, demographic representations, activity level, authority, isolation, facial expressions, feminine features, and heterosex ual norms. Each theme is described in detail and then examples are provided to clarif y how each theme was represented in the websites. The examples provided emerged both in depth interviews, and from the QCA of the websites. Language issues Initially, one would think that the Air Force has taken a neutral for women (similar to the Navy) or by highlighting the availability of positions for women


94 into each job description (similar to the Army) T his may be appropriate due to the Air statistically, in comparison to other branches) in terms of the number of women employed, and the number of job opportunities that are open to women. W omen represent more than 1 9% of the Air Force personnel, whereas women are only represented as 18% of Naval personnel, and 17% of Army personnel ( Table A I ) (U. S. Air Force, 2013) which represents far more career opport unities for women in comparison to the other branches because it is not a limitation The issue with the A first impression of neutrality; however, when one thinks more critically about the language used in each of the MOS descriptions, it is obvious that sexism is present on nearly every page in the Careers secti on of the recruitment website This embedded subtle form of sexism is often considered more detrimental because it is ingrained in the culture of the organization. According to Swim and Cohen (1997), subtle sexism is characterized by openly unequal and h armful treatment of women that goes unnoticed because it is perceived to be customary or normal behavior. Individuals who perpetuate such treatment may be in or others are treating in dividuals unfairly based on their gender or they may not realize that such behaviors contribute to unequal and harmful treatment of women (p. 104) More specifically, the Air Force uses sexist language throughout their recruitment website by referring to at least once on each MOS (military occupational specialty) page. In fact, the language is used in a standard line in the Training section of After eight and a half weeks of Basic Military Training, every Airman goes to technica Although many


95 people may dismiss this as a part of the it represents a n archaic form of sexist language that has been eliminated from the culture and jargon of many other mas culine communities over the past three decades. According to Disler (2008 b structure and ideology Furthermore, Miller and Swi gender suffix inappropriate is not that the sex of an individual has been misrepresented, but that the This type of sexist jargon positions wom en in a secondary status and reinforces patriarchal organizational structures Although the Air Force is the most inclusive branch in terms of the number of MOSs open to women, it is also the branch with the most rampant use of sexist language in the jar gon of its culture norm and women as the exception According to Di f you want to change attitude, then change the language; this, it seems, is the strategy of some in the its arguably femin Using exclusive language creates a gendered norm and indicates the dominance of men in the culture. This type of sexist language has been largely removed from other occupations that have been based on masculine standards. For examp le, in the 1980s, fire


96 Even government organizations have changed their protoco ls in terms of sexist Although the Air Force attempts to take a neutral approach by not emphasizing differences (by having a section sp women i nvisible due to the lack of references regarding their existence in the texts and furthermore defines recruits as male Chang ing the language will not be an easy task; however, it is necessary. Burlacu ( and habit can make people be sc eptic and reject a that military p ersonnel may find it disruptive to change their language (specifically the The young women who were interviewed for this project were not outwardly offended by the use of aware of the term and they did not necessarily view it positively. For example, Cindy mentioned that nch. Because I of everything. the Air Force.


97 is not a mere c urio of convention: these words have measurable (deleterious) effects on the listener, especially females, both in terms of the implicit messages they convey, and Furthermore, gender neutral form of address. Disler (2008a) stated that I voice my opinion as a 23 year member of the Air Force, as an officer, an educator and an academic with a doctorate in linguist ics. Yet, oddly, when I excl udes your sex, excludes your rank, and excludes you as somethi ng (p. 1). As a result, Disler (2008a) proposed a new gender neutral word that could be introduced in the Air Force culture: Having been openly critical of the forc e the missions involving missile flight or space flight. Regrettably this term information across networks the new medium. (p. 1). This recommendation differs from the tactics of o ther air force military organizations from English spe aking countries (2013) personnel are airmen and airwomen who work in ground support roles using specialist skills ) Additionally, t he Australian Royal Air Force (2013) has a diversity statement on their recruitment website : the best people for the wide range of Air Force jobs, regardless of gender,


98 age or culture. to attract, recruit and retain the very best people. Air Force has developed and implemented a range of diversity initiatives to help personnel have equal access to opportunities. Our diversity initiatives are constantly under review to be relevant, timely and inclusive. The Uni recruitment materials. effectively uses inclusive language in their Careers section. The Army has a g ender neutral term for their workers ( referred to as soldiers ) and they use gender neutral language in most instances on the career pages. There are a few gaffes that require further examination, however. There are some incidences where the Army does use sexist language in the job descriptions (though these are unusual in comparison to the other branches). For example, the overview for the Animal Care Specialist states that animal care specialist is primarily responsible for the prevention and control of diseases transmitted from animal to man as well as the comprehensive care for government owned animals easily replace, and more effectively represent the meaning of the sentence, than the word English language that creeps into our modern language from time to time, if unchecked. Resolving these types of issues is simple compared (such a occurs; however, some of these represent a larger language issue that is not specific to that individual branch. For ex ample, on the Air and Missle Defense (AMD) Crewmember career page, the job title clearly uses gender neutral language with the term


99 notes that the crewmember will o perate the AVENGER and M an Portable Air Defense System weapons systems Man Portable Air Defense Systems, also referred to as MANPADS or MPADS, are a type of shoulder launched surface to air missile (SA M ) that was developed by the United States and first introduced into service in the late 1960s (Australian Strategic Policy Institute, 2008). reference to MANPADS is in accordance with the language of the specific weapon system that was developed (and named) prior to the language revolution of the 1980s and has proliferated in use ever since. MANPADS are a widely distributed weapons system; therefore, the reference to it is not isolated to military institu tions in the United States either. There are other types of military references that transcend individual branches, such as references to Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), which are more media and popular culture Changing references to technological devices that are not unique to a particular military branch is not the intention of this dissertation. The language issues that are of primary concern are those that create and maintain a patriarchal military cu lture in a specific branch WIN In addition, the Navy uses gender ing to the majority of their personnel; however, there are instances where the Navy refers to their Aviation Flight Operations). This archaic use of sexist language is rare and irrelevant to the current Navy workfor ce; therefore,

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100 changes should be made to integrate more inclusive language as an effort to more accurately represent the diverse workforce of the modern Navy. Although these proposed language changes are important, they may be somewhat superficial when co mpared to the overall military culture. Reforming language will not necessarily change the military culture. It is important to use inclusive language; however, it is an overstatement to expect the language changes to represent a reformation of military cu lture. It is, however, a step toward further integration. Using inclusive language is a way that the Air Force can be more respectful to its diverse workforce. Demographic representations. There are differences regarding how ra ce, gender, and age are repre sented o n each of the recruitment websites. For example, m en who appear to be White are portrayed most frequently on the Air Force website in comparison to women and men of other skin tones. Although most of the images on the Army website represent men (p articularly White men), there were some images of women. However, w hen men and women are positioned together in an image on the Army website, the man was more likely to appear older than the woman, and he was more likely to be taller as well. According to Goffman (197 8 power, authority, rank, office, renown is echoed expressively in social situations is through relative size, especially This is particularly troubling because the publication that Goffma n noted this issue, Gender Advertisements was published more than three decades ago. The Navy integrates images of women throughout their MOSs and has done a remarkable job with using images that reflect a diverse workforce; however, the focus

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101 on diversi ty has resulted in the near extinction of representations of White Men in some sections of their recruitment website. Because White men represent 40 workforce (U. S. Department of Defense, 2010) this is more of a created workforce than a re presentation of the actual Navy workforce at this point in time. Activity level. Activity level was noted as a theme in the WIN section as well. O verall, although women are represented in many different types of jobs on the Navy recruitment website inclu ding jobs considered hyper masculine (such as welders), women are disproportionately shown talking about their jobs rather than actively engaged in work. When men are represented on the website, they are more likely to be actively engaged in work associate d with their job. When women are shown working, they are often in the background rather than the foreground. In many of the videos, women are shown talking about their jobs in an interview situation; however, they are not shown actively engaged in those ac tivities. Air Force, in particular, has some images of women where they are represented i n playful activities, or as simply posing for the camera rather than engaged in serio us work. For example, o n the Air Force website, the pediatrician MOS webpage featured a woman wearing glasses who appeared to be middle aged and White ( Appendix H ). The woman was wearing BDUs and was with a young girl in what appears to be a medical examin ation room. The child was wearing a stethoscope and appeared to be playing with it. Although it is not unusual for pediatricians to use their medical equipment in a playful manner to establish rapport with their young patients, it is unfortunate that this is the image that was chosen to represent women pediatricians. This type of an image

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102 reinforces the nurture aspect of expectations for women. It does not focus on the seriousness of her position or the authoritative or intellectual side of her job. It pos itions the woman pediatrician primarily in terms of her role as a nurturer in this situation. Her professionalism is downplayed as a result of this playful image. Cindy look like she professional having her them switch, like actually having her working on the child. So I Selene made a similar Maybe if she was actually, like, if she was sick or something, you know, taking blood or something to do something (italics added to reflect the emphasis in her voice). Portraying the pediatrician as active in her work environment and not limited to a traditional gender representation would have been more realistic Playfulness is also represented in the activities of men in the military; however, their playfulness is framed as re creational and separate from their work activities. Furthermore, the men are engaged in recreational activities with their male colleagues, which positions them differently than the pediatrician who was positioned as a nurturer as she plays with the child. The playfulness of the male soldiers is thus positioned as a form of camaraderie rather than as the focus of their job. Furthermore, although men were jet skis, those moments are differentiated by the fact that this was a recreational activity that was not part of their work These playful scenes are positioned more like regular behaviors that are embedded in their daily work activities In

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103 playful activities were positioned as their workplace activities rather than as a recreational activity that was separate from their work environment. often represented as actively w orking However, there are some images that represent women as present in the job situation but not as active participants. Several of the young women who were interviewed noticed the image featured on the air defense artillery officer MOS webpage ( Append ix I ). Participants were initially attracted to this position because this is one of the newest positions that provides opportunities for women to get closer to combat situations. In this image, a woman is featured in the center foreground and two men are featured on the side in the background. The woman appears to be passive. She has a neutral facial expression and she is looking slightly away from the camera with a vacant gaze The men in the background are involved in a conversation; therefore, this juxt situation rather than as a vital member of the team. She seems out of place and disengaged from the situation. She appears to be subordinate in the situation because she is not engaged as a participant in the situation. Her vacant gaze makes her appear to be waiting for something to happen, rather than proactive in the situation. Selene one of the young women who was interviewed for this study, noted that the men in the background appeared to be separa ted from the woman. She suggested an improvement to the photo It seemed that whenever a man and a woman were represented together, the woman was in a more passive role. This passive representation often led the

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104 participants to interpret the man as the authority figure and the woman as the subordinate. This leads directly to t he next theme: authority. Authority. As noted in the activity level theme detailed above, women who were represented as passive often led the participants to interpret the man as the leader and the woman as the follower, or the man as the teacher and the woman as the learner. Uma noted this when she described an image on the Teamwork pag e of the Army Medicine (AMEDD) section ( Appendix J for the image): He looks like he would be the doctor or the surgeon or whoever, and the co worker of a doctor or something, um, fo r assistance or just to be, like, a lookout or she could be, like, a student in training, looking, overlooking or who has been injured or hurt or got ill. Whenever a man was represented as more active than a woman in the image, the man was perceived as the authority figure by participants Uma had similar interpretations that assumed male authority whenever she viewed an image that featured both a woman and a man in the AMEDD section of the Army recruitment website ( Appendix K for the image). They the male would be the teacher helping her out. focused on, um, you know, her becoming a better student a better, you know, medical, um, medic person, and that he wants her to become, like, to and helpin wrong or, um, making sure she fully understands it in case she does not ant her to just go through her and describing it and all of that. Interpretations seemed to assume male authority unless there was specific evidence to the contrary.

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105 Other image s confused participants due to the ambiguous nature of the image. For example, o the mental health specialist MOS webpage has an image that focuses on a young woman who is sitting in an office setting and appears to be enga ged in a conversation with a man ( Appendix L ) Both of the individuals represented in the image have light skin and appear to be White. This image initially appealed to some of the young women who were interviewed for this study; however, after a moment, t he young women ques tioned their first impression. Initially, the participants perceived that the young woman in the image was the mental health specialist, largely due to the focus of her in the image. The man is only portrayed via an over the shoulder sho t; therefore, only the side and back of his neck and lower face are visible in the image. In contrast, the woman is centered in the image and her face and body are clearly visible. As the participants tried to interpret the image further, they became furth er confused by it. Cindy i f they are both in the A rmy, it looks talking to her about whatever is The image did not clarify who was the patient and who was the professio nal. This created some confusion for participants who attempted to interpret the image. This ambiguous image forced the participants to question how authority was intended in the image. Isolation. When women were represented in nontraditional jobs, they w ere most often represented in communities that were dominated by males; therefore, the woman appear ed as a token, rather than an example of one of many women who are integrated into that particular MOS Since Kanter (1977) identified tokenism in the workpl ace, research about token women has revealed considerable negative consequences for

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106 women in these situations, particularly performance pressures and stress as a result of heightened visibility, social isolation polarization, and pressure to assimilate (K anter, 1977; Stroshine & Brandl, 2011; Yoder & Berendsen, 2001). Facial expressions. In th female sailors were disproportionately shown smiling (in comparison to male soldiers). These facial expressions sometimes did not repr esent them as s erious soldiers AMEDD section of their recruitment website. Women were frequently represented in posed positions where they were smiling, and facing the camera. Similar to the findings of the Megens and Wings (1 981) study, military women in the web materials are represented as smiling more often than their male counterparts. The issue of women smiling could be dismissed by research that has found that women smile often in every day interactions, whereas men typi cally reserve smiling only as an expression of emotion ( Kennedy & Camden, 1983 ). Although the military has a serious and formal culture the issue of overrepresentations of wom en smiling in military recruitment materials has been noted in research for the past three decad es (Megens and Wings, 1981) I n his landmark publication, Gendered Advertisements Goffman (1978) states that case, it appears that in cross sexed encounters in American society, women smile more, and more expansively than men, which appears to be carried over into advertisements, perha ps with little conscious intent (p. 48). To indicate the determination and strength of the military branch, military women and men should be represented similarly with more serious facial expressions.

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107 Feminine features. In the videos on the recruitment websites, women seem to be portrayed as polar opposites: as hyper masculine women or hyper feminine women with military jobs. There are very few representations in between those two extremes. Although previous recruitment materials often did not represent women with or near weapons (Brown, 2012), the hyper masculine representations of women in the website materials frequently portray women wit h or near weaponry. The video featuring Master At Arms Melanie Molina (in the WIN profile section) is an interesting example of a hyper masculine representation of a military woman ( Appendix M ) and the video featuring Aviation Structural Mechanic Amanda Ho dges are good examples of this polarization of gender performance. Both of these video s are featured as case stud ies at the end of this chapter for a detailed analysis. Hyper feminine women are sometimes portrayed as more concerned about their appearance and are shown engaged in personal grooming activities, such as styling their hair, applying makeup, and choosing clothes. Over three decades ago, Megens and Wings (1981) found that military women often wore visible makeup in recruitment materials. This is consistent with the images currently available on the recruitment websites. When men appear to have something on their face it is cam ouflage face paint or dirt, both indicating that they are actively engaged in work. Women are typically represented with facial makeup that is not indicative of serious involvement in military activities. For example, m ilitary women are often wearing lipstick and eye makeup in the images and videos. This obvious use of makeup emphasizes their femininity and focuses on a sup erficial aspect of their identity. The gendered use of facial decorations

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108 also further emphasizes men as actively engaged in work and women in more passive activities. Thus, women are positioned superficially while men are positioned as serious soldiers wh o are necessary to military readiness. When women are represented on the recruitment websites, they are also disproportionately represented as concerned about personal aspects of their lives, particularly pregnancy, motherhood, and children. This position s them as nurturers Atlas V Chief Engineer, a woman who appears to be White is interviewed. She self big picture of the emphasis on her role as a parent is not an unusual representati on of a military woman, yet this theme is scarcely represented in videos that feature men. Similarly, in the video featuring Amanda Hodge in the WIN section, she day fo r the pilots, and my co workers, I work with. If anything ever happened to them they commen ts in the videos. When men are represented in the videos they are almost always represented as focused on work issues. concerns about children and families disproportionately focuses on their traditional role as nurturers in so ciety rather than as able soldiers who are prepared to fight for their country.

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109 Heterosex ual norms. When a service member is featured with their life partner, they were always featured with someone of the opposite sex. In this way, the image of h eterosexua l norms for relations hips are maintained. There are several good examples of this in the video featuring Amanda Hodges. Due to the intersecting themes in that particular video, it has been included in the case studies so it can be analyzed in greater detai l. Overall, im ages and videos representing heterosexual relationships set heterosexual ity as the cultural norm for personnel in the armed forces. Case Studies Melanie Molina, Master At Arms The video featuring Master At Arms Melanie Molina (in the WIN pr ofile section) is an interesting example of a hyper masculine representation of a military woman ( Appendix M ). The video opens to reveal Molina engaged in a boxing activity. As the speed of the video increases, her violent punches are juxtaposed with shell s falling from a 50 caliber machine gun. Similar to many of the other videos featuring women, Molina is featured in a working environment dominated by men. There is an absence of other wome n in her work environment Unlike other videos featuring women, how ever, she is shown both actively engaged in training, and in other workplace activities. She is also shown in a leadership position and is portrayed in an instructor role where she teaches men about how to effectively use the weapon. This hyper masculine r epresentation of a woman is the polar opposite of the hyper feminine representations of women that are more often featured in both images and videos on the recruitment websites Amanda Hodges, Aviation Structural Mechanic. Hyper femininity is evident in the first featured profile in the WIN section. This video features Amanda Hodges, an Aviation Structural Mechanic. In the first twenty seconds of the video Hodges is shown

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110 applying make up and styling her hair ( Appendix N for screenshots from the video) This portion of the video is shot in a voyeuristic manner where the camera is positioned in ways that seem to invade her priva te space while we watch her ritualistic private grooming behaviors. The sound of her blow dryer is then mixed with the sounds of j et engines to transition to her job as an aviation structural mechanic on a Navy flight deck. It is unusual that she needs to style her hair before she puts on the masculine helmet necessary for her job, which appears to constrict her styled hair Later i n the same video, Hodges is shown in her home ( Appendix N ) The home is a location w here women are overrepresented in comparison to men Inside her home, she is engaged in activities in her kitchen and is shown choosing a feminine pink dress from her close t. The camera shows all of her colorful clothes and then pans across the bottom of her closet to reveal they show her masculine work boots at the end of the closet. Although this effectively shows th at a woman can have many different layers to her identity, the focus on her personal activities reinforces stereotypes and downplays her skills and intellectualism in the workplace. The reinforcement of heterosexual norms is also a theme that is represent ed in video ( Appendix N for screenshots of the video). Although Hodges does not mention a significant other, the visuals allude to a heterosexual relationship. In a silhouetted shot in front of a large aquarium tank, Hodges is shown standing closel y to a man. Later in the video, she is also shown walking on the beach and in her kitchen with presumably the same man. These types of images seem to set heterosexual relationships as the cultural norm for personnel in the armed forces.

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111 Interestingly, t hi s video was the first one at the top of the profiles page in the WIN section. The profiles were not alphabetically placed (either by last name or first name); therefore, one must question why this hyper feminine video was chosen to be first in the WIN sect ion of the website. Surface Warfare Officers (assigned to nuclear aircraft carriers). A good example of an unexpected and disconcerting video is the Surface Warfare Officers video on the Navy website. This video was located at the top of the page for Sur face Warfare Officers in the Careers section of the website and features t hree surface warfare officers ; one woman and two men. The woman Bristol Hartlage, appears to be younger than the men (likely in her late 20s or early 30s) whereas the men appear to be middle aged. Hartlage is a very feminine blonde blue eyed White woman and the opening shot s feature her wearing a bikini and swimming in a pool. As the camera pans over her body, voiceover states: I think swimming is very cerebral for me bec ause I can think about work, I can think about home. I can think about my family. I can think about just about going faster. I grew up on a lake, so I have always been around the water. I love the water. O ne of the things I really enjoy doing on the ship i s going up to topside when we are underway and just looking out to the Side views and shots from underneath the water focus on her body as she swims across the pool, revealing her cleavage, a tattoo on her lower back, and focusing on her body for the first 20 seconds of the video ( Appendix O for screenshots from the video ) These images and the words that accompany them are out of place, particularly in comparison to the way the male officers are represented in the same video. The men are shown in activities that they can engage in while on the aircraft carrier; however,

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112 Hartlage is positioned in a way that does not appear to be relevant or practical to her position on the aircraft carrier Furthermore, cultural references that are ty pical in the youth community should be taken into consideration when considering the shot of the tattoo More specifically, tattoos that are placed on the lower back of a woman are often referred to in a derogatory manner, an Dictionary, 2013) negative connotation, Hartlage is initially positioned as a sexual object rather than as an intelligent and competent officer Other analyses of Navy recruitment materials have also expressed concern about visual representation s of women t hat appear to promote heterosexist norms and ultimately attract potential male recruits (Brown, 2012). Based on previous research and portrayals such as the one involving Hartlage the representation of women in recruitment mater ials should not necessarily be considered as an intentional attempt to recruit women into the armed forces. There may be other intentions involve d in the representation of women, particularly those that maintain heterosexist norms and seek to recruit men t o the services. In the same video featuring surface warfare officers t he older man ( of the two men represented ) is barely shown at all in comparison to his younger counterparts. He appears to be a White man who is in his forties. The video features him v ery little in comparison to the younger officers Furthermore, when one considers the representation of older military personnel on the recruitment websites, the near absence of older women is noted. Lisa Duke ( personal communication, February 20, 2013) q uestioned the absence of images of

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113 older military women and questioned whether the absence indicated a limitation in younger women are recruited, but not expected to ente r leadership positions that would lengthen their careers and provide them with a more powerful voice in the military. The absence of older women could indicate that women are encouraged to participate, yet relegated to the lower ranks. In contrast, y ounge r personnel seem to be overrepresented O ne could argue that the younger demographic more appropriately suits the target dem ographic of potential recruits ; however, contrasted with the lack of representations of older women, the overrepresentation of young er women seems to support the notion that women are relegated to the lower ranks. Furthermore t he two younger officers in the surface warfare officer video are featured in a way that reveals information about their hobbies, which makes them more the viewer The younger man Chris Zundel, appears to be White and in his early 30s. He mentions that he trains for triathlons and is visually represented riding his bike on a trainer on the side of the aircraft carrier ( Appendix P ) This suggests that he can still engage in his hobbies, and have an active lifestyle, when deployed on a ship. His hobby is relevant to his experience as a Surface Warfare Officer on a nuclear aircraft carrier because he can train while deployed The hobbies of the two younger officers represent them differently in the video. The tri athlete can train on his bike while on the ship ; however, there is not a pool on the aircraft carrier that the swimmer can use to continue her swimming routine while deployed. Simply stated, aircra ft carriers are not cruise ships with pools and

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114 wa uninterrupted by, her job, is unclear at best. The video clips of Hartlage swimming only seem s to objectify her in a manner tha t strips her of her legitimacy as a Surface Warfare Officer

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115 CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSIONS effectiveness in recruiting women. Each branch ha s positive and negative features that can inform future decision making processes regarding the (re)development of recruitment websites. The goal of this dissertation was to analyze how the United States military is recruiting women via the Web and how women are interpret ing those messages. The a im was to contribute an understanding of military recruitment techniques as well as an analysis of how women are processing Web b ased recruitment messages. Thus, this section first provides specific recommendations for improving recruitment strategies in h opes that women will be more effectively integrated into the United States military. Next, limitations that should be considered are acknowledged. Finally, avenues for future research are addressed in detail. Recommended Improvements This dissertation has identified many improvements that are recommended for branch preferences, the presentation, use, and integration of images and videos in the Career sections, the need to address and change specific jargon, the use of interactive recruitment tools and the absence of information (particularly information specific to individuals who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning and issues regarding violence against wo men). Branch preferences. Recruiters may want to consider providing more details about the training. More specific details about what makes the training difficult may help young people to gauge whether or not the branch is within their reach (at least in terms

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116 of physical ability). Additionally, there are some Navy jobs that do not require work on a ship or submarine; therefore, the Navy may want to mention that in their recruitment materials. Otherwise, the idea of working on a ship, submarine, or in the water in general is a turn base considerably, particularly for career opportunities that are land based. Bran people for the upper echelon of intelligence, this is not necessarily an effective tactic for recruiting enlisted personnel. Many of the participants noted that they did not believe that they had the cognitive a bility that would be required in the Air Force. Because the Air Force also needs support personnel, such as military police, supply clerks, and cooks, the Air Force may want to tone down the intelligence focus of their recruitment materials. I mages and v i deos. Each branch handled the presentation, use, and integration of images and videos in the Career sections of recruitment websites differently. The Navy effectively integrates a massive number of different images on their recruitment website; however, th e Air Force has a tendency to use individual images (or parts of individual images) for multiple MOSs The Army had a tendency to use the same images to represent multiple careers, particularly in the AMEDD section of their recruitment website. I f the Air more images into the car eers sections of their websites, they could more accurately reflect the various positions that are available to recruits. Furthermore, images of posed individuals who are inac tive should be avoided. Those types of images were

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117 shots of individuals who are engaged in work activities are more credible and appealing while also representing the seriousness of military culture. Although all of the websites featured videos, there were differences in the ways they were integrated in the website content. Both the Air Force and the Army prominently feature videos on their homepages and have separate sections for storing the videos buried under a small menu area at the very bottom of the homepage. In our interview, Agnes noted t he difficulties in locating the videos on the Army website: specific and very, very, like except for the videos. Although some of these videos are linked to in the Careers sections of the Air Force and Army websites, those instances are infrequent. To view the majority of the videos, a user would need to c lick on a link on the homepage or go directly to the videos section. Simply integrating the videos into the Careers section (like the Career section of the One positive feature of the Army video s section is the ability to search the videos. Providing a search option makes the section more interesting and user friendly. One of sue with this section is that the search tag is only apparent if the user types that particular word into the search box (then the tag shows up as a search term). Otherwise, it is unknown what search tags are available. Providing information about how the videos are tagged may provide users with more

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118 information for finding relevant videos through the search feature. This technological tool will make this section of the website even more engaging for users. It is important that the videos are also incorpora ted into the Careers section for individual MOSs as well. Finally, images and videos that portray women in stereotypical, objectified, and/or tokenized manners should be avoided. Women in the military should be represented in a manner that reflects the int egrity of their MOSs. Furthermore, they should be represented in w ays that focus on their MOS as the point of emphasis rather her MOS, the branch is overemphasizing her difference in the masc importance in regard to her MOS and military readiness. Representations need to accurately represent the importance of soldier s s rather than focus on their sex. Jargon Language use, particularly jarg on that is specific to a culture, sets norms and expectations for members of groups. Thus, t o defend the use of sexist language as references marginalize subgroups and perpet uate a bias against them. More specifically, t he (such as Disler, 2008a) have not resulted in a change in this regard. If the Air Force discounts the importance of this cultural chan ge, perhaps that is a reflection of the current state of gender integration in the branch. Although women are integrated in terms of numbers and job opportunities, the Air Force continues to struggle with issues related to gendered violence, particularly s exual harassment, domestic violence, and rape ( Stefanek, 2011) Changing jargon in any community with such a

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119 long history of tradition is not easy, and changing the language will certainly not eliminate the incidence of these gendered crimes; however, it is a step toward f urther integration. This change would represent a marked change in the Air Force culture and would signal that gender integration is necessary and vital to the branch. Certainly, whenever there is a change in the protocols of a community with such a long history, such as the Air Force, there will be confrontations and pushback from some individuals. It is important that the Air Force take s this step to fully embrace integration and to move towards providing a safer environment for women. The notion of cha nging the language is simple enough. Pointing out a problem is easy in comparison to providi ng options for viable solutions F inding an alternative for recruitment process, the goal is to provide viable solutions that can be integrated to improve military recruitment efforts. neutral term that represents the aircraft e of personnel who work directly with the maintenance and flying of aircraft. It would not be such as medical practitioners or military police. Other terms, such as Another t erm that insufficient to the growing importance of flight of digital information across networks the new medium

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120 the Air Force, I recommend ir T to replace the use as a reference to their personnel. A ir T on the air and technologi cal aspects that differentiate the branch in the United States military practitioners and military police officers than other proposed terms. It also represents a truly gender n gender neutral term that reflects how the Air Force is differentiated from other branches of the ar med forces. Integration of the AirTech term into the Air Force culture can represent a cultural shift that provide s a more accurate portrayal of its current workforce. Interactive recruitment tools Young women who were interviewed noted the effectiveness of interactive experiences even in the face to face recruitment process. Agnes detailed her experience with an interactive van that an Army recruiter had brought to the JROTC program one day: explain the army to you and stuff, like, basically the jobs that they have and they show you videos and they talk to you about it. And then you go out and they talk to you some more about stuff and you would talk to recruiters and then they had like thi s fun thing that the y had. You can do the corn hole. I f you make the corn hole you can get a prize And then there was a football thing and a pull up thing. When you do a certain amount of pull ups you get a water bottle. It was really fun though because recruiter. Thus, Agnes enjoyed her interactive experience with the recruiters. Interactive experiences can also be created online and the Air Force, Army, and Navy have begun

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121 taking advantage of these tools. More specifically, Fa cebook and other social networking sites, live chat features online games, and downloadable apps are integrated into the recruitment websites as strategies for reaching out to potential recruits and influencers who may be vital to the recruitment process. Facebook is the most visible social networking tool on the recruitment websites. For example shown live via a widget at the bottom of the homepage of their recruitment website. Similarly, the Army has a widget that shows a live feed from the GOARMY.COM Facebook page. when the user scrolls down the homepage), t the user must toggle past the live s With over 15 specialized Facebook pages, from US Navy Life to Women Redefined to Navy Latinos the Navy has the mo st targeted Facebook pages of the branches Although the Navy does not have a widget that presents a live feed to Facebook on its homepage, it provides more specific information to subgroups. Widgets that present live feeds to individual Facebook pages are embedded on some pages within the recr uitment website. For example, at the bottom of the Chapla i n page in the Facebook page. Although all of the Navy Facebook pages have not been integrated into the recruitment website pages yet, t his represents a more targeted strategy than other branches have implemented Furthermore, most of the Navy Facebook pages appear to be actively monitored and include frequent posts to engage use rs.

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122 technologically elite branch of the military. By providing more opportunities for social networking on their recruitment website, the Air Force can use their technological expertise to target recruits more strategically. he Army has links to Google+, Flickr, YouTube, and LinkedIn on the bottom m enu bar of every webpage. T he Army do es not have a link to a Pinterest account on their recruitment website According to Pinterest is fastest growing social media site in both unique visitors and clicks on search engines Additionally, Experian reported that traffic he Army should add a link to Pinterest on their recruitment website. The Navy is the most sophisticated branch in terms of the integration and maintenance of social networking tools. I n addition to having links to Google+, Flickr, NAVY (located on an external website at www.navyformoms.com ) that specifically targets mothers as influencers in the recruitment process. This social networking site provides mothers the opportunity to interact with other Navy Moms and view targeted recruitment materials. In addition, the MySpace, Tumblr, and Pinterest.

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123 Another commonality regarding innovative feature s on the recruitment websites is the inclusion of live chat features as a strategy to engage users and answer Se rgeant Star, an ation and audio of the avatar is sophisticated, particularly in comparison to the s partan appearance of traditional chats ; however, there were many times when the live chat feature was not available and the times when it is available are not clearly posted For that particular feature to be effective, the live chat needs to be clearer in terms of availability. The Navy has a live chat feature that is on a template that shows up on every s Se rgeant Sta live chat feature is available more than 12 hours a day every day except for weekends (7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays and holidays. T he times and specific holidays are clearly indicated on the website. Th e abundance of inform ation about the availability of the s Se rgeant Star; however, the chat was unavailable during the availability periods quite often. More often than not, I received the following message when I attempted to access the chat during Unfortunately none of our Recruiters are available at this time due to high traffic levels OR you have reached us outside our normal hours of business. If availability periods are clearly posted, the appropriate staff should be available during those times to monitor the chat. when it is available and the hours are extensive (14 hours a day nearly every day). s Se s

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124 initially appeared to be spartan This is particularly unusual since the Air Force is often considered the technologically elite branch of the military. A more innovative live chat focus on technological innovation Upon responses and is not staffed by a real perso n on the other end. Thus, even though the Another negative feature of the A ir Force and the Navy s is the fact that they require the user to complete form s and a profile before they can access the chat feature. A more simplified process for accessing the chat may reduce barriers for users to take advantage of t website. In terms of online games that engage the user, the Air Force is leading the pack. the user and provides an op portunity to compete with other players via social networking sites. The use of animation, music, sound effects, and an authoritative voice recruitment websites. The issue w ith the Airmen Challenge, though, is that it only works well if the user has an appropriate computer and internet connection. For example, t he first time I tried to access the game, it was practically unplayable due to lengthy load times for graphics and a nimation features After accessing the game with a faster computer and better inter net connection, the game was faster and easier to play. This is an issue that the Air Force needs to address so that all users can play the game,

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125 regardless of their compute there were not any women characters represented in the lower levels of the game and then it appeared to be only a small handful of women characters available at the highest levels of the game. This issue of representation sho uld be addressed to more fully engage both men and women in the game, and to provide more legitimacy for women soldiers. The Army also has some web based games; however, they are pedestrian in orce and the Navy have downloadable apps that are promoted on their websites. The Air Force apps are game based and are designed for iPhone and Android devices. The Navy app is simply a n app based version of their recruitment website. W hen using the iPhon e Navy app, the WIN option appears as the first menu item are ordered alphabetically; however, the menu items in these sections appear to be random in terms of order. If WI N was intentionally included as the first menu item, this may be a intentional recruitment technique that is being employed via the app. Each of the branches should analyze how the other branches are using interactive tools for recruitment purposes. None of the recruitment websites stand out as a leader in t erms of interactive experience; however, these tools can be improved through further development. In terms of Facebook and social networking, the Navy is utilizing the most targeted strategies; howeve r, the Navy can integrate more social networking links to videos and other resources throughout the website. In regards to live chat features, the is technologically superior ; therefore, the Air Force and Navy may

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126 want to incorpo rate a n animated feature into their live chats. could be improved with the addition of clear information regarding the nature of the pseudo live feature and its game and game based apps are visually appealing ; however, the necessity of a faster computer and internet connect ion (for the Airmen Challenge) limits the potential of this particular tool. Overall, i nteractive experiences require further investigation, both as a face t o face recruit ment tool and a strategy for further engaging potential recruits online and via apps. GLBTQ Content analyses are limited to the content that is available; however, sometimes it is interesting to note what is not available in the content Mo re specifically, information specific to individuals from the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (GLBTQ) communities and information about violence against women was absent from the websites. This exclusion was particularly unusual due to the frequency of media coverage for these two topics. Now that the DADT ) era has ended, the armed forces can i ntegrate information s pecific to individuals from GLBTQ communities into their recruitment websites This is partic ularly important becaus e the United States military began actively recruiting individuals from GLBTQ communities literally the day after DADT ended ( Bumiller, 2011 ). Excluding this information may indicate that DADT is not completely removed from military culture. Two of the participants in the in depth interviews identified as lesbians and both of them indicated concerns about how this part of their identity would fit in with military

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127 life. Linda noted that she was not willing to hide this part of her id entity and was concerned how military life would exclude her partner: I actually know somebody who was, not kind of directly that was kicked out because they were gay. And so, I mean that was actually, I was worried about th at, and I was f ighting for DADT to be repealed because very glad, to say the least. But it is had somebody, um Thes e types of issues are not noted on any of the websites. Due to the increasing number of GLBTQ individuals who will likely join the armed forces now that the DADT era has passed and the military is actively recruiting from these communities this is a popul ation that the armed forces should consider more directly in their recruitment materials. This sentiment was specifically introduced by two of the young women interviewed. As lesbians, both of these young women noted that they would have been extremely hes itant to enter the military during the DADT era. Both expressed an inability and lack of desire to hide their sexuality, as well as a concern th at the DADT policy was those that address the constitution of marriage. The lack of health insurance benefits for partners was also expressed as a concern that may reflect outdated policies that are still in place. This is even more disconcerting when one considers the many oth er spousal benefits that are exclusive to heterosexual military personnel, such as housing, relocation benefits, access to th e commissary on base and local merchant discounts that require official military identification. A link to a website containing information about GLBTQ issues would be helpful for people from those communities ; however, it would be more effective to integrate

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128 information specific to GLBTQ individuals throughout the website. If the information is isolated to a specific section, a se nse of normalcy is not attained Other English speaking cultures have integrated GLBTQ concerns into their military recruitment materials. For example, the Australian Royal Air Force (2013) has a specific notation on their Diversity website that highlight s these specific concerns: Members from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) community: Air Force actively supports members of the LGBTI community through a range of measures. Air Force has worked hard to develop inclusive policies and entitlements that are not limited by member's gender, personal circumstances or sexual orientation. Air Force actively supports personnel attendance at conferences and GLBTI community events, and has developed a guide which provides practical advice a nd support for LGBTI members in Air Force. Ongoing engagement and cooperation with the external, wider Defence LGBTI community group 'DEFGLIS', who can be contacted via their own website www.defglis.com.au is an integral aspect of Air Force's ongoing diversity strategy By addressing GLBTQ issues via the recruitment websites, the armed forces would have a more transparent way of addressing concerns. Furthermore, including information specific to individuals who identify as GLBTQ would clearly indicate the end of DADT and the inclusion of GLBTQ individuals in the modern armed forces. Violence against women in the military. Information about violence against women (or protection for w omen) was also absent from the recruitment websites. Although some of the young women who were interviewed as a part of this study had heard about violence against women in the military, many of them were uninformed about the extent of these issues and the protections that the military is currently employing to reduce such incidents. For example, several of the young women thought that the requirement to have a

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129 th at th ey would be robbed. Cindy I f someone were to randomly try to rob you or something, I guess it would be a good thing to have somebody with you so you can like if one of you guys had a phone, call 911 and get some help. When as ked to clarify, Cindy mentioned that other people would be after her money. She was not concerned about personal safety in regards to sexual violence. Mirinda (CAP requ ired two buddies) concepts. She stated that it was important and all you know is hing your hands and then over the sound of the alarm you system as a deterrent of sexual violence. In fact, several of the young women in the study dismissed the notion that another soldie r would inflict harm upon them. For example, Selene mentioned that the buddy system is important because if one gets hurt, or, like, killed, then the or die so mething going on over here, they can call and get help. When asked for clarification about the perpetrator, Selene stated a rule in the States, she rep ne could invade their base, you know, try to begin a war. Along with everyone, could come and attack them. You have someone there in case that would happen.

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130 attack rather than an attack perpetra ted by another soldier. She was also more concerned about the attack prompting a larger conflict (i.e., war) rather than it being a physical attack that sought to violate the soldier as an individual. Several of the interview participants confidently cite honor code as evidence to dismiss the possibility of soldier on soldier violence. For example, Mirinda stated: When you go into the military, you go through you work hard, like, your maturity is obviously very high, you worked hard. You to get into the military just to sexually harass somebody and possibly get honor code, that we not lie, cheat, or steal, nor tolerate anyone who does. You sig get there. So there should be no reason I mean, some people do it, but you are aware. In regards to sexual harass ment, Mirinda further noted that trained and brought up and built into a c ertain form of, like, a mold, like a model, to do that. There was an overall perception that immoral acts rarely occur in the military due to the honor code. These uninformed views were unusual given the increased attention to these issues in the news medi a. As young people become more media savvy, this will become a greater concern for military recruitment. Linda mentioned that she had seen some sexual harassment videos during the Future Soldier program ; however, that is a program that most people d o not begin until after they sign enlistment paperwork. Linda stated that, I mean, their videos are super cheesy. (Laughs) But I mean, I guess some people would, like, some females would look at it telling females, you know, if so mething if some male is trying to come at you, you know, you can go to your squad leader or your whatever, you

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131 know, talk to them, tell them, and the guy will get in trouble and will get if you would go and say or report a claim and that, you know, maybe nothing will can get kicked out. T s behavior would not be tolerated in the military. As noted above, s everal of the young women cited the honor code and Cadet Creed to support the idea that sexually inappropriate behavior is not acceptable in the military culture. Although sexual harassm ent videos are being shown in the Future Soldier program, it is important that the facilitators follow up properly after the videos are shown. According to Linda But I know, like, we were watching the cheesy video, and it was a bunch of guys and I was th hink of me, you When asked about her thoughts about why the young men did not raise their hands, Linda soc When asked about how the facilitator handled the situation, Linda noted that they did not address it and continued with the rest of the program. If young men entering the military are clearly indicating that they will not r eport acts of sexual misconduct, that provides military leadership with an opportunity to engage in a conversation to educate recruits about this issue. The absence of that conversation condones inaction and disengagement while setting a standard for maintaining a neutral stance in regard to sexual misconduct. Disengagement and

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132 inaction will not lead to less victimization. It will only maintain a level of secrecy and condone cover ups that can further victimize the victim s This is especially important because s exual misconduct in the military is becoming increasingly visible in the media. For example, in the past year, the was nominated for an Oscar in 2013 (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, 2013) and won the Audience Award for a documentary film at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival (Sundance Institute, 2013). documentary about rape in the military and it focuses on the experiences of women veterans who were raped by fellow military personnel while servin g for the armed forces. The more that sexual violence in the military is publicized, the more women are on and responses to these issues. T he military should provide information to recruits about how detrimental thes e types of acts are to military readiness and what specific actions have been taken to protect their soldiers. This information could serve as a warning for potential offenders as well. The addition of this information could send the message that the branc h does not tolerate these types of behaviors. Limitations There were several limitations that should be acknowledged in regard to this dissertation. First, this analysis is limited to a specific snapshot of the recruitment websites. Due to the changing n ature of websites, it is unlikely that the recruitment websites will remain the same for very long. Thus, this analysis is limited to one specific representation of the recruitment websites. Another limitation that requires attention is the fact that most of the participants were provided the opportunity to engage the recruitment website content live and at

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133 their leisure. Although this provided a less focused approach this approach provided t erpretations of specific pages. D to explore the websites was necessary Future research should consider narrowing the alysis. Furthermore, technical issues prevented one of the participants from having the opportunity to navigate the recruitment websites at her leisure. Instead, she was provided with screenshots (that had been previously identified by other participants) as prompts for discussion. Finally, my demographic and cultural position differed considerably from that of the participants. These differences may have required more time for building rapport and trust during the interview process. This difference also r equired that I take other cultural differences into consideration. For example, the young women who participated in this study tended to label men as authority figures more often than women, even when women appeared to be engaged in active roles. In this r egard, there were a few times when my interpretations of an image were drastically different than the interpretation of a participant. We all have grown up in a patriarchal society; however, I have the benefit of age and a strong feminist awakening. For th is reason, I am probably more likely to view gender issues with a more critical eye and identify unearned male authority with greater sophistication. This is not to say that their interpretations are in any way inferior to mine. Quite the contrary, their i nterpretations are simply different, and in this project, more legitimate than mine because they are the target audience of the recruitment materials. Engaging in the in depth interviews gave me the opportunity

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134 to understand the lens through which these yo ung women interpret messages. It is important to understand that the participants may not have mature cognitive processing abilities. Because young people are accustomed to processing commercial messages that do not require sophisticated critical analysis, they may not have the experience necessary to interpret less obvious messages in media content. The young women who participated in this study tended to label men as authority figures more often than women, even when women appeared to be engaged in act ive roles. In this regard, there were a few times when my interpretations of an image were drastically different than the interpretation of a participant. We all have grown up in a patriarchal society; however, I have the benefit of age and a strong femini st awakening. For this reason, I am probably more likely to view gender issues with a more critical eye and identify unearned male authority with greater sophistication. This is not to say that their interpretations are in any way inferior to mine. Quite t he contrary, their interpretations are simply different, and in this project, more legitimate than mine because they are the target audience of the recruitment materials. Engaging in the in depth interviews allowed me the opportunity to understand the lens through which these young women interpret messages. The cognitive skills of these young women may not be matured because they are still undergoing identity and physical developments due to mplications for the processing of commercial messages" (p. 433). Although their cognitive skills may not be mature, it is important to recognize that this will be an issue for any study that focuses on teenagers.

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135 Avenues for Future Research This study prov ides many different avenues for future research. Recruitment websites should be further analyzed to address how potential recruits navigate recruitment websites and how they perceive website images. Longitudinal studies can provide a deeper understanding o f how women are integrated in the military. Quantitative research can provide additional evidence about recommendations for improving recruitment tactics. Racial issues, female leadership in JROTC programs, and appeals to influencers should also be conside red in future research. Recruitment websites. Future research should consider in depth interviews with larger numbers of young women in JROTC and CAP programs to further understand how potential female recruits perceive website images and how they navigat e recruitment websites. Researchers who focus perception of websites should consider how the websites will be presented in the study Initially providing participants with live websites can help researchers identify how u ser s navigate the website s. Using eye scanning programs can be helpful for collecting data focused on navigational issues, particularly when the research focuses on the frequency and duration that users engage in particular sections of the websites. For d epth research about specific images that are provided via websites, it is more effective to save the screenshots so they can be used as specific prompts during the interviews. This method would also allow more opportunities for comparisons to reveal simila rities and differences in interpretations. A depth analysis of the interactive tools is recommended. Triangulating qualitative content analysis methods with in depth interviews with potential recruits would provide more information about the appeal and e ffectiveness of these tools.

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136 Other military organizations recruitment websites should be analyzed as well. Theme s that emerge from analyses of t he United States Coast Gua rd and the National Guard s websites should be compared and contrasted with the results of this study. Even though women represent a smaller percentage of the Marine s workforce, the ir recruitment techniques should not be neglected. Future research should consider the similarities and differences in how different military organizations represent women in their web based recruitment m essages Longitudinal research It is also important to conduct longitudinal studies to nearly all combat roles are open to women. In depth interviews should be initiated with young women involved in JROTC and CAP programs and then the women should be re interviewed periodically during their military experience. This data will provide a deeper understanding of how women negotiate the hyper masculine cult ure of the United States military. Quantitative research. Now that themes have been developed through the qualitative content analysis, future research should analyze the websites using quantitative content analysis methods to provide more evidence of wa ys the websites can be improved for recruitment purposes. Previous military recruitment research in the United States has focused more on quantitative analyses than qualitative analyses; therefore, it is recommended that the themes found through this quali tative content analysis be used to conduct a quantitative content analysis of the text, images, and videos. The quantitative analysis will provide additional evidence for convincing military leaders to make specific changes in an effort to improve recruitm ent strategies.

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137 Quantitative r esearch focused on the images in the recruitment websites should consider the perceived race, sex, and age of the individuals who are represented. Additionally, attire (i.e., type of uniform or civilian attire), facial express ions, and activity level (i.e., actively working, passive) should be taken under consideration. Racial issues Future research should take ra cial issues under consideration. In previous studies focused on the integration of women in masculine work commun ities, and White women firefighters and noted differences in power based on race. Although both groups experienced gender subordination, African American women were additionally subordinated by race whereas White women experienced White privilege. White privilege, as detailed by McIntosh (1990), is an unearned and unconscious privilege that is sometimes n eglected in critiques of hierarchies. Although it is important to study marginalized groups, it is also important to consider White privilege in the current patriarchal hierarchy of the military. McIntosh (1990) states that: It seems to me that oblivio usness about white advantage, like obliviousness about male advantage, is kept strongly inculturated in the United States so as to maintain the myth of meritocracy, the myth that democratic choice is equally available to all. Keeping most people unaware th at freedom of confident action is there for just a small number of people props up those in power and serves to keep power in the hands of the same groups that have most of it already. Although patriarchal hierarchies are often identified in the United St ates military, it is also important to consider the implications of White privilege in regards to issues of power and subordination. Female leaders in JROTC programs. Interestingly, one of the young women, Linda noted the absence of women leaders in the JROTC program. She commented,

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138 fter I become an officer I want to be an ROTC instructor after I retire because I leadership in t he JROTC programs was noted as a lack of ev idence that women could could help alleviate this issue; however, future research is necessary in this regard. Cross cultural research Comparing and contrasting the United S tates military recruitment websites with other English provide further insight into how women are being recruited. Countries that use English as their primary language for their militaries are a natural fit for cross cultural analyse s Additionally, it is important to recognize that many countries use English as their administrative language (primary language for their militaries and other government organizations) ; therefore, military recruitment materials ( particularly websites) for countries such as India may be included in future analyses. Appendix Q for specific recommendations. Broader analyses may consider comparisons with non English speaking cultures that are similar to the United States in terms of c ulture (such as Germany), and those that have stark cultural differences (such as Thailand). It would also be beneficial to consider similar analyses of recruitment websites for countries that are a dversaries of the United States to compare and contrast re cruitment strategies Influencers Each branch had a separate section of its recruitment website dedicated to specific influencers. More specifically, the Air Force has a section titled he Navy has a takes a different approach to targeting influencers via their recruitment website. Future

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139 research should compare and contrast these websites to ident ify themes and provide the branches with recommendations for improving these particular sections. Final Thoughts Participants who enlisted in the military felt proud of their decision. Agnes ked a decisive change in her career path: My dad never finished high school, my step mom never finished college. My mom dropped out of college. My sister dropped out of high school. They thought that I was going to be the one who dropped out of college too like same footsteps as them. This pride in making a decision to join the military was evident for other young women as well. For example, Selene mentioned that change, you know, kind of like going out overseas or eve n just, you know, being in the military, knowing that you have the have the option to make a change or help, you know, change America, I you, yeah, feel better. Many young women, similar to Selene and Agnes, are excited about the opportunity to enlist in the United States military. Many of these young women are interested in serving in combat roles and those opportunities will be available in the near future. It is important to study recruitment materials targeted at potential recruits and to analyze how young women interpret these messages. With increasing numbers of women likely to enter the armed forces, it is essential that external reviewers provide analysis and commentary regarding these recruitment materials.

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140 The problem with the recruitment websites at this point in time is that they often portray women in stereotypical and/or objectified ways. Brown (2012) concluded that recruiting material taken as a whole serve to at once women are depicted as tokens, their participation does not seem normalized in the military culture. Although ther e appears to be an effort on the part of each branch to integrate women in to its recruitment website, women are not portrayed in a manner that indicates equal participation. The good news is that there are improvements that the military can implement to more accurately portray military women on their recruitment websites. First and foremost, it is important for each branch to remove images that portray women in stereotypical ways, as tokens, and/or in an objectifying manner. These images should be replace d with images that portray women as active serious participants. This dissertation analyzed how the United States military is recruiting women via the Web and how women are interpret ing those messages. By identifying themes and addressing issues regardin g the representation of women in the military, t his study contributes to a more sophisticated understanding of military recruitment techniques T he avenues for future research clearly address areas where scholars can continue to analyze the United States m potential young women recruits

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141 APPENDIX A TABLES Table A 1 Department of Defense Active Duty Military Personnel (September 30, 2011). Compiled data from the U. S. Department of Defense (2011a & 2011b). Army Navy Marine Corps Air Force Total Services Women Officers 15,727 8,464 1,325 12,291 37,807 Total Officer Personnel 97,240 52,852 21,822 65,487 237,401 % of Women Officers 16.2% 16.0% 6.1% 18.8% 15.9% Women Enlisted 60,224 44,022 12, 352 50,307 166,905 Total Enlisted Personnel 463,605 267,746 179,335 263,542 1,174,228 % of Women Enlisted 13.0% 16.4% 6.9% 19.1% 14.2% Women Cadets Midshipmen 743 899 954 2,596 Total Cadets Midshipmen Personne l 4,618 4,525 4,341 13,484 % of Women Cadets Midshipmen 16.1% 19.9% 22.0% 19.3% Total Active Duty Women 76,694 53,385 13,677 63,552 207,308 Total Active Duty Personnel 565,463 325,123 201,157 333,370 1,425,113 % of Women in Active Duty 13.6% 16.4% 6.8% 19.1% 14.5%

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142 Table A 2 Four Proce ssing Situations Determined by the Ratio Between Resources Allocated to and Resources Required by the Context of the Persuasive Message (from Buijzen, Van Reijmersdal & Owen, 2010, p. 436). RRC RAC low RAC high RRC low No or low elaboration of context; low resources available for RAPM Moderate elaboration of context; high available resources for RAPM RRC high (Imminent) cognitive overload; low available resources for RAPM High elaboration of context; low available resources for RAPM RAC, resource s allocated to context; RRC, resources required by context; RAPM, resources allocated to persuasive message.

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143 Table A 3 Marsh & White's (2003) taxonomy of functions of images to the text. Functions expressing little relation to the text Functions expr essing close relation to the text Functions that go beyond the text Decorate Change pace Match style Elicit emotion Alienate Express poetically Control Engage Motivate Reiterate Concretize Sample Author/Source Humanize Common referent Describe Graph Ex emplify Translate Organize Isolate Contain Locate Induce perspective Relate Compare Contrast Parallel Condense Concentrate Compact Explain Define Complement Interpret Emphasize Document Develop Compare Contrast Transform Alternate progress Model Model cog nitive process Model physical process Inspire

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144 APPENDIX B INFORMED CONSENT FOR MS Semi structured in depth interview regarding perceptions of military organizations Parental Consent Form Dear Parent/Guardian, I am a graduate student in the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida, and I am conducting research on military cadets under the supervision of Dr. Lisa Duke Cornell. The purpose of this study is to learn about cadets' perceptions of the military programs and other m ilitary organizations. The results of the study may help military organizations better understand how to recruit and retain cadets. These results may not directly help your child today, but may benefit future cadets. With your permission, I would like to a sk your child to volunteer for this research. The cadets will be interviewed one on one about their thoughts and experiences; however, they will not have to answer any question they do not wish to answer. The interview will take place at a time and locat ion that is convenient for the cadet. The interviews typically last about an hour and a half. With your permission, the cadet will be audio taped during the interview. The audio recording will be accessible only to the research team for verification purpos es. At the end of the study, the audio recording will be erased. The cadet's identity will be kept confidential to the extent provided by law We will replace their names with pseudonyms (fake names). Participation or non participation in this study will not affect the cadet's grades or promotion in the cadet program. You and your child have the right to withdraw consent for your child's participation at any time without consequence. There are no known risks or immediate benefits to the participants. A $20 gift card will be offered to the cadet as a token of appreciation for their participation. Group results of this study will be available in March 2013 upon request. If you have any questions about this research protocol, please contact me at 407 340 93 72 or my faculty supervisor, Dr. Lisa Duke Cornell, at 352 392 0447 Questions or concerns about your child's rights as a research participant may be directed to the IRB02 office, University of Florida, Box 112250, Gainesville, FL 32611, (352) 392 0433. Christine Hanlon -------------------------------------------------------------------------------I have read the procedure described above. I voluntarily give my consent for my child, __________________________________, to participate in Christine Hanlon 's study of military cadets. I have received a copy of this description. _____________________________________ ___________ Parent / Guardian Date _____________________________________ ___________ 2nd Par ent / Witness Date

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145 Sem i structured in depth interview regarding perceptions of military organizations A ssent Script (for participants) Hello My name is Christine Hanlon and I am a studen t at the University of Florida. I am trying to learn about how students think about military organizations, such as the ROTC/CAP program. I will be working with several students at [name of school or after school program]. If you decide to participate, you will be asked to answer some questions about your involvement in the ROTC/CAP program and your feelings about military organizations. We will spend about an hour and a half talking one on one about your thoughts and experiences. There are no known risks t o the study at any time. Other than the researchers, no one will know your answers, answ used in the study. I also want you to know that whatever you decide, this will not affect your grades or promotion in ROTC/CAP. You do not have to answer any question that you do not wish to answer and you can end your p articipation at any time without consequence. Your parent/guardian said it would be okay for you to participate. Would you be willing to participate in this study?

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146 INFORMED CONSENT FORM FOR ADULT PARTIC IPANTS Protocol Title: Perceptions of Military Organizations Please read this consent document carefully before you decide to participate in this study. Purpose of the research study: The purpose of this study is to learn about cadets' perceptions of th e military programs and other military organizations. What you will be asked to do in the study: You will be interviewed one on one about your thoughts and experiences. You will not be required to answer any question that you do not wish to answer. The interview will be audio taped; however, the audio recording will be accessible only to the research team for verification purposes. At the end of the study, the audio recording will be erased. Time required: An hour and a half. Risks and Benefits: Th ere are no known risks or immediate benefits to the participants. Compensation: A $20 gift card will be offered to the cadet as a token of appreciation for their participation. Confidentiality: Your identity will be kept confidential to the extent pr ovided by law. Your information will be assigned a code number. The list connecting your name to this number will be kept in a locked file in my faculty supervisor's office. When the study is completed and the data have been analyzed, the list will be dest royed. Your name will not be used in any report. Voluntary participation: Your identity will be kept confidential to the extent provided by law We will replace your name with a pseudonym (fake name). There is no penalty for not participating. Right to withdraw from the study: You have the right to withdraw from the study at anytime without consequence. Whom to contact if you have questions about the study: Christine Hanlon (Interviewer), tel. 407 340 9372 Dr. Lisa Duke Cornell (Faculty Superviso r), tel. 352 392 0447

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147 Whom to contact about your rights as a research participant in the study: IRB02 Office, Box 112250, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611; tel. 352 392 0433 Agreement: I have read the procedure described above. I voluntari ly agree to participate in the procedure and I have received a copy of this description. Participant: _______ ___________________________ ____ Date: _________________ Principal Investigator: ___________________________ ___ Date: _________________

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148 APPEN DIX C INTERVIEW GUIDE Semi structured in depth interview regarding perceptions of military organizations Pre Interview Prior to the interview, the researcher will screen participants by asking basic demographic questions and some questions related to thei r experience in the cadet program: Age Gender Race Rank in ROTC/CAP Length of time involved in ROTC/CAP Involvement level in ROTC/CAP Overall satisfaction with ROTC/CAP Interview Guide (Prompts: United States military recruitment materials) 1. Tell me abou t how you got involved in ROTC/CAP. Probing question: What did you perceive as benefits to joining ROTC/CAP/CAP? Probing question: What did you perceive as challenges? 2. Tell me about your experience in ROTC/CAP/CAP. Probing question: What benefits have you gained as a result of your ROTC/CAP/CAP ex perience? Probing question: What challenges have you dealt with a s a result of your involvement with ROTC/CAP/CAP? Probing question: How do you think your ROTC/CAP/CAP experience will benefit you in the futu re? 3. Do you think gender impacts an individual's ROTC/CAP/CAP experience? If so, how? Probing question: Has your gender impacted your ROTC/CAP/CAP experience? If so, how? 4. Tell me about the military branch that is most appealing to you. Probing q uestion: What are the benefits of this branch in comparison to the others? Probing question: What types of opportunities are appealing to you? 5. Tell me about the military recruitment materials you have seen. Probing question: Where have you seen thes e materials? TV? Online? School? Probing question: Have you accessed the military recruitment websites? If so, which one(s)? What were your thoughts about those websites?

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149 6. Let's take a look at the recruitment website of your preferred military branch. As you navigate the website, tell me your inner thoughts. State when you click on something. Explain your inner thought process for choosing certain parts of the website over others. Explain what appeals to you and why you choose to click on certain parts of the website. Probing question: How does this website make you feel? Probing question: Are there any drawbacks to this website? If so, explain. Probing question: Do you think this website effectiv ely recruits women? Why or why not? 7. Do you thi nk you will join the military? If so, which branch? Why? Probing question: What are the benefits of joining the military? Probing question: What are the drawbacks of joining the military? 8. Tell me about who helps you make decisions about big life dec isions. Probing question: Who helps you make decisions about your future career? Probing question: Rank these people in terms of their influence. Who influences you the most? Who influences you the least? 9. Do you think gender impacts an individual' s experience in the military? If so, how? Probing question: What benefits do you think women have in the military? Probing question: What challenges do you think women have in the military? Probing question: Do you think there is equal opportuni ty in the military? Why or why not? 10 How are soldiers portrayed in the media? Probing question: How are soldiers portrayed on TV? Movies? Video games? Probing question: Is there a gender difference in how soldiers are portrayed by the media? If so, what are t he differences?

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150 APPENDIX D SCREENSHOT OF AN ARMY M ILITARY OCCUPATIONAL SPECIALTY THAT IS OPEN TO WOMEN This image was retrieved on January 31, 2013 at http://www.goarmy.com/careers and jobs/browse career and job categories/mechanics/ah 64 attack helicopter repairer.html

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151 APPENDIX E SCREENSHOT OF AN ARM Y MILITARY OCCUPATIO NAL SPECIALTY THIS I S CLOSED TO WOMEN This im age was retrieved on January 31, 2013 at http://www.goarmy.com/careers and jobs/browse career and job categories/combat/cavalry scout.html

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153 These screenshots are from the video that was retrieved on January 31, 2013 at http://www.navy.com/inside/winr/profiles/stephanie kirkpatrick.html

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154 APPENDIX G SCREENSHOT OF RIDLEY NGERNAILS FEATURED I N ROFILE SECTION OF TH WEBSITE This screenshot is from the video that was retrieved on January 31, 2013 at http://www.navy.com/inside/winr/profiles/ridley she tler.html

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1 55 APPE NDIX H IMAGE FROM THE PEDIATRIC IAN MOS WEBPAGE OF THE A IR FORCE WEBSITE This image was retrieved on January 31 2013 at http://www.airforce.com/careers/detail/pediatr ician/

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156 APPENDIX I IMAGE FROM THE AIR D EFENSE ARTILLERY MOS WEBPAGE OF THE ARMY WEBSITE This image was retrieved on January 31 2013 at http://www.goarmy.com/careers and jobs/browse career and job categories/combat/air defense artillery officer.html

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157 APPENDIX J IMAGE FROM THE TEAMW ORK PAGE OF THE ARMY MEDICINE (AMEDD) SECTION OF THE GOARM Y.COM WEBSITE This image was retrieved on January 24, 2013 at http://www.goarmy.com/amedd/health care/medical team.html

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158 APPENDIX K IMAGE FROM THE ARMY MEDICINE (AMEDD) SEC TION OF THE GOARMY.C OM WEBSITE This image was retrieved on January 24, 2013 at http://www.goarmy.com/amedd/health care/news.html

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159 APPENDIX L IMAGE FRO M THE MENTAL HEALTH SPECIALIST MO S O N THE GOARMY.COM WEBSITE This image was retrieved on January 2 7 2013 at http ://www.goarmy.com/careers and jobs/browse career and job categories/medical and emergency/mental health specialist.html

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163 These screenshots are from the video that was retrieved on January 31, 2013 at http://www.navy.com/inside/winr/profiles/m elanie molina.html

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168 These screenshots are from the video that was retrieved on January 31, 2013 at http://www.navy.com/inside/winr/profiles/amanda hodges.html

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170 These screenshots are from the video that was retrieved on January 31, 2013 at http://www.navy.com/careers/nuclear energy/surface warfare nuclear.html

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171 A PPENDIX P SCREENSHOTS OF CHRIS ZUNDEL SURFACE WARFARE OF FICER, FEATURED ECRUITMENT WEBSITE This screenshot is from the video that w as retrieved on January 31, 2013 at http://www.navy.com/careers/nuclear energy/surface warfare nuclear.html

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172 APPENDIX Q MILITARY RECRUITMENT WEBSITES OF OTHER EN GLISH SPEAKING MILITARY ORGANIZATIONS Australian military organizations Defence jobs htt p://www.defencejobs.gov.au/ British military organizations British Army http://www.army.mod.uk/ British Royal Air Force http://www.raf.mod.uk/careers/ British Royal Navy http://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/ Canadian military organizations Canadian Forces http://www.rcaf arc.forces.gc.ca/v2/index eng.asp Indian military organizations Indian Air Force http://indianairforce.nic.in/ Indian Army http://indianarmy.nic.in/ Indian Na vy http://www.nausena bharti.nic.in/ The Australian military organizations (the Royal Australian Air Force, the Australian Army, and the Royal Australian Navy) and the Canadian military organizations (the Royal Canadian Air Force, Canadian Army, and Royal Canadian Navy ) both have a main recruitment website that includes the main military branches for their particular country

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182 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Christine Hanlon has been teaching communication courses in higher education for the past 15 years She currently teaches specialized sections of SPC160 8 (Fundamentals of Oral Communication), COM1000 (Communicati on), and COM4014 (Gender Issues in Communication) at the University of Central Florida Her work has been published in the Florida Communication Journal and several editions of Teaching Ideas for the Basic Communication Course In addition, Christine has s erved as President of the Florida Communication Association twice in the past decade and was a recipient of Between semesters she enjoys traveling with her life partner and children.