Jewish World Review August 10, 2004 / 25Menachem-Av, 5764
Dean P. Johnson
Will our evolving military finally change its recruitment campaign?
AH - TEN - HUT! RIGHT FACE! (And I'm not talking about a clockwise pivot
either.) According to an article in the July 26 issue of the New Yorker, our
military offers as a benefit free cosmetic surgery. That means just about
anyone serving in the armed forces could turn an ugly mug into a right face.
One might think that with the current strain on our military due to by
operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, this benefit would be a tremendous draw for
volunteers. However, officials seem to be reluctant to highlight this perk.
The chief of plastic surgery at Brooke Army Medical Center, Dr. Bob Lyons,
was reported in the article as saying the army did not offer free cosmetic
surgeries like breast enhancements and liposuction to attract anyone to military
service, and he "would be disappointed with the maturity of the young women in
this country if they're joining the service with the thought of getting breast
If our armed forces want to maintain that their cosmetic surgery benefit for
military personnel and their dependents is not an enticement for recruitment,
then they are out of step with the American rank and file.
According to the recent American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery's Procedural
Survey, its members treated over 870,000 patients in 2003, a 6.7% increase from
2002. The survey showed an increase of 6.3% in liposuctions and an 8.5%
increase in breast augmentations. With such growth potential, why wouldn't the
military want to tap into this demographic?
I can see the recruitment campaigns now: Guaranteed weight loss by the end
of a soldier's commitment if not by exercise and diet then certainly by
scalpel. Highlighted facial features of John Wayne and Gary Cooper in full grunt
regalia on giant billboards with the logo, "Your face? Here." Bumper stickers
with phrases like "Be All You Couldn't Be," and "An Army of Wonderwork," and
"The Few, The Fabulous, The Marines."
What could possibly be holding back the Department of Defense? This is tax
money well invested. After consulting famed Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr.
Richard Fleming's annual list of his clients' most requested adjustments, our
fighting forces will hold an advantage unlike no other. Just imagine how
enemies will be caught off guard when platoons of soldiers with Brad Pitt's eyes,
Dylan McDermott's cheekbones, and Johnny Depp's jawline advance upon them
reinforced by companies whose members have Heather Locklear's nose, Denise
Richard's lips and Cate Blanchett's chin.
Long after the supplemented soldier has been discharged from service, the
taxpayers' investment can only keep on reaping rewards. Not only will the new
veterans possess teamwork and leadership skills, they will now be one of the
beautiful people which will give them a step up in society because only
attractive people become rich and famous.
The richest man in the world, Bill Gates, has that popular nerdy look going
for him, and the second richest, Warren Buffett, has that distinguished, older,
wild eyebrow thing happening that makes him attractive like bulldogs and
trolls are attractive. Just look at the top five most famous people according to
Forbes (in order): Mel Gibson, Tiger Woods, Oprah, Tom Cruise and The Rolling
Stones - all beautiful people noting that The Rolling Stones enjoy the Warren
Our US military has in their mitts a means to create not only the strongest
force in the world, but the best looking. I say go for it! Seek out the
homely and the unattractive, lure them with visions of handsome glamour, and
increase our military's numbers and aesthetic value at the same time.
Instead of merely using what we got, let's go get what we can really use
because, in the end, it's all about face.
JWR contributor Dean P. Johnson's columns appear in Los Angeles Times, New York Times,
Christian Science Monitor, Hartford Courant, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, San
Francisco Examiner, Newark (NJ) Star-Ledger, Atlantic City Press, Philadelphia
Inquirer among other smaller papers.
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© 2004, Dean P. Johnson