May 26, 2024

The Military’s New E-Girl

How an Influencer Is Changing the Way the Military Recruits Gen-Z

People think they’ve just caught the U.S. Military trying to recruit you through E-Girls and how they did it will surprise you. There’s a new social media powerhouse that’s stepping into the limelight: the U.S. Army soldier. And with an audience approaching the millions, they might be onto something.

It’s no surprise that the military has a difficult task to deal with securing the ever-elusive Gen Z to their ranks but have they just cracked the code?  Some on social media seem to think so, claiming that Hailey Lujan is blending military and meme culture into one as part of a larger psy-ops program.

It’s not unheard of for the military to use twitch to reach gamers for recruitment. The Military Entertainment Complex might be blurring the lines between entertainment, advertisement, and genuine connection, and it’s all happening on social media.

With the army marketing enterprise currently spending roughly $157 Million each year on advertising, why wouldn’t they test every option available to them? 

But is this really the work of a government agency or just a cosplayer trying to make a living online?

Lunchbaglujan started making waves in her military uniform in early 2021, though she had been creating content online years before. Dive a little deeper, and her LinkedIn profile reads like a plot from a Tom Clancy novel: “Psychological Operations Specialist” at the US Army.

Prior to joining the army in 2019 she played water polo for her high school in Michigan.  

After high school, she took a leap from water polo to warfare, claiming to have honed her psy-ops skills at the J.F.K. Special Warfare school at Fort Bragg. 

The army lists someone in her claimed role as:

Psychological Operations (PSYOP) Soldiers benefit the Army’s missions by using unconventional techniques. Their intelligence, interpersonal skills, cultural sensitivity, and foreign language proficiency help sway opinions and actions of foreign governments, groups, and individuals.

And in the age of the internet, the army has plenty to compete with for recruits leading everyone to wonder, is Hailey’s social media blitz part of a bigger government-funded recruitment strategy? 

Her comments section seems to think so.

With over 700k followers on TikTok and 20million likes, Lunchbaglujan clearly has a knack for showing young men what a life in the military could provide them.

To make things even more confusing, she doesn’t shy away from her audiences claims.  

@lunchbaglujan

she tryna take my job 🤬

♬ son original – DduP
@lunchbaglujan

#duet with @globulist #Stitch U can Run but not faster that me

♬ dumb dumb – mazie

This isn’t new that social media influencers have military experience.   This is just maybe the first time it’s been presented in such an interconnected way.

While the military won’t respond to the claims on if she’s an army propaganda tool, it leaves everyone to wonder… If she’s not then how long will it be before they see this as a viable option? 

And if you’re still on the fence about Lujan’s real mission, here’s Rated Red’s very own Zach Bell with an exclusive interview on his TikTok page:

@veteranwithasign

Behind the scenes with @lunchbaglujan

♬ original sound – Warfighter

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