Failing to earn the respect of the American public, the latest branch of the US Army is at least successful on Call of Duty.
The US Space Force, the space division of the US military, has had a little trouble asserting its legitimacy since it was inaugurated in 2019. But it is working on it in its own way. Last December, his troops won the Call of Duty Endowment Bown Charity Tournament (or CODE Bowl); and before defending their title in mid-December, they gave each other a little provocative communication by sending their trophy in the direction of space.
It all started with a non-profit initiative whose goal is to help US Army veterans. This is a cause to which citizens across the Atlantic are particularly sensitive. Because even when they have escaped the physical consequences, at the end of their deployment, these former soldiers regularly encounter psychological and social problems, particularly in terms of access to employment.
Many institutions and associations therefore organize charity events to help them. And the army itself is also getting involved; this is how this CODE Bowl was born. For two years, this competition centered around the FPS Call of Duty opposes the six branches of the American army and three branches of the British army. At the end of the tournament, all profits are donated to associations helping veterans.
There is no small victory
Last year, the US Space Force (USSF) won the trophy. A rather anecdotal victory in absolute terms. But for the little thumb of the American army, even the most modest successes are good to take.
As a reminder, it is the very last official branch of the army to have been founded, barely three years ago. And the least we can say is that for the moment, it still pales in comparison to other prestigious divisions, such as the famous Marine Corps. That’s partly because it was one of Donald Trump’s big projects — a legacy that hasn’t helped the USSF assert its legitimacy.
The US Space Force makes a fool of itself again by presenting its official anthem
But it is also and above all because of his own communication, which is often extremely clumsy. Within a few months, the agency repeatedly ridiculed itself. In particular, it presented a surprising uniform, a logo modeled on that of Starfleet Command, an official title that was not really flattering, or even an anthem as kitsch as it was laughable (see our article above).
Suffice to say that the USSF needs a few notable successes to improve its image. And that’s probably what she tried to do with a new communication stunt. To tease the next deadline of the CODE Bowl tournament, the Space Force has chosen to send its trophy in “space”, with an inscription “Come and get it !” in permanent marker.
A nice com’ stunt mocked by internet users
It’s a small symbolic and quite nice advertising spot… but as always with the USSF, as soon as we look at it a little closer, we find some rather comical details.
To begin with, the press release announces that the trophy has been sent into space. One could therefore believe that it was embarked on board a launcher, then deposited in orbit. The wording suggests that he would have crossed the Karman Line. As a reminder, this is an arbitrarily established limit of 100 kilometers above sea level; it is commonly accepted as the symbolic boundary of space.
But in this case, the trophy was actually mounted under a gas-filled balloon. And above all, it did not exceed 19.2000 meters of altitude. So the USSF sent its charm high into the atmosphere… but certainly not into space proper; the ball will therefore inevitably come back crashing on Earth with the trophy. Too bad, because the whole symbol of the operation was based on this criterion.
The other funny element is that the Space Force did not carry out the operation itself. Instead, she signed a contract with Sent Into Space. It is an advertising company that sends objects into the upper atmosphere. And she is based… in the UK. Rather incongruous knowing that the US military has a reputation for being particularly chauvinistic and that she generally not skimp on the means when it comes to self-promotion.
American taxpayers will probably be satisfied to know that the agency did not spend millions of taxpayer dollars on this ad. But many Internet users still had fun the glaring discrepancy that exists between the ambitions of the USSF and the way it communicates; for now, she continues to garner more memes than respect.
Obviously, in this precise case, it is useless to be too severe; it is only a small, unpretentious communication operation in the service of a charitable organization. But what is certain is that to build legitimacy, the USSF will not be able to content itself with dominating on Call of Duty and sending its trophies into the stratosphere!
Anyway, if you want to see professional soldiers compete on Activision’s shooter, you can follow the 2023 edition of the CODE Bowl on December 16th. The tournament will be broadcast on the channels Youtube and Twitch of call of duty.