A recruiting rebrand has some worried that the Army National Guard’s iconic Minuteman is on its way out.
A symbol that calls back to the Guard’s pre-Revolutionary War roots, the Minuteman has long been associated with the Guard. But it is absent from the Army Guard’s newest logo, which is a black shield with gold and white text that reads “Army National Guard” with a black star.
The rebranding is the result of a congressional mandate, according to Lt. Col. Wes Parmer, a spokesman for the Army Guard director. But it is not a sign that the Minuteman is on the out.
“The Minuteman logo is still being used,” he said. “It’s the National Guard seal.”
Instead, Parmer said the new logo being replaced is an older recruiting logo that features “National Guard” in red letters with a stylized American flag.
The new logo will better integrate the Guard’s recruiting efforts with the larger Army, he said.
“There has been some confusion with previous brandings,” Parmer said, noting that the logo has not always readily identified the Guard as part of the Army’s Total Force.
The Army Recruiting and Marketing Group developed the new branding as a result of a mandate from the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to combine the recruiting and marketing efforts of the three Army components.
Parmer said the new logo was created with the aid of focus groups and extensive market research.
“We’re trying to reach a market,” he said. “The new logo seeks to achieve that.”
Critics of the new logo claim it is part of an effort to abandon the Guard’s history or remove the Minuteman’s flintlock rifle. Parmer said neither was the case.
The NDAA mandate was originally recommended as part of the National Commission on the Future of the Army.
In addition to merging marketing, the 2017 NDAA also created a pilot recruiting program that has combined Regular Army and National Guard recruiting stations.
Parmer said 11 Guard recruiting stations have been paired with U.S. Army Recruiting Command stations as part of the Universal Recruiter Pilot program. The pilot began in January 2018 and will continue through 2020.
A congressional report on the pilot is due later this year.