“It begins in California with a little girl raised by two moms,” the narrator, Cpl. Emma Malonelord, says in the video. “Although I had a fairly typical childhood, took ballet, played violin, I also marched for equality. I like to think I’ve been defending freedom from an early age.”
The video depicts a cartoon recreation of Malonelord’s life, including the moment when one of her moms got into a car accident that “left her paralyzed.”
“Doctors said she might never walk again, but she tapped into my family’s pride to get back on her feet, eventually standing at the altar to marry my other mom,” Malonelord says. The video cuts to a cartoon scene of her moms at an alter.
Malonelord goes on to say how she has been fortunate her whole life and wanted to give back to her community and challenge herself, which is ultimately why she decided to join the Army after talking to a recruiter.
“Research tells us that young people today see the Army as a ‘distant star’ – a place requiring a nearly superhuman level of discipline with little relevance to their daily lives,” Maj. Gen. Alex Fink, chief of Army Enterprise Marketing, said in a May 4 statement when the campaign was announced. “Similarly, youth don’t necessarily connect with those who serve or see common ground in terms of interests, abilities, and goals.”
Fink continued: “‘The Calling’ shatters these misperceptions by showing that Soldiers are all of us: real people with hopes, dreams, fears, aspirations, families, friends, and obstacles to overcome.”
The ad reflects similar videos the CIA posted recently that have faced criticism from viewers. The video was part of a recruitment ad campaign called “Humans of CIA” that the agency has been rolling out since 2019.
“Growing up gay in a small Southern town, I was lucky to have a wonderful and accepting family,” a man and member of the LGBTQ+ community says in the clip. “I always struggled with the idea that I may not be able to discuss my personal life at work. Imagine my surprise when I was taking my oath at the CIA and I noticed a rainbow on then-Director [John] Brennan’s lanyard.”
Another recruitment video titled “Discover the CIA: Your Nation is Counting on You,” sparked a fierce reaction last week for being what critics labeled as “woke propaganda” on social media.
The 2-minute video featured a 36-year-old Latina CIA agent who described herself as “intersectional,” “cisgender,” and “millennial” who embraced herself “unapologetically” because she refuses to internalize “misguided patriarchal ideas of what a woman can or should be.”
Critics, including Republican Sens. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Ted Cruz of Texas, called the video an “embarrassment,” and slammed the agency for its willingness “to weaponize their power to target their political opponents: conservatives.”
Even former CIA officer Bryan Dean Wright took issue with the video, tweeting: “The CIA used to be about mission to country. (I speak from experience). Now it’s now about demanding — and getting — accommodation to fix an emotional wound or advance a personal agenda. America is less safe with this new CIA, and dangerously more political.”
“This CIA recruitment video is a joke and truly embarrassing for our entire country,” Meghan McCain, co-host of “The View,” agreed. ” China, Russia and our enemies are laughing at us.”
The agency pushed back against criticism over their latest recruitment video, insisting in a statement Tuesday that the controversial ad has proven to be effective at helping attract candidates to the agency.
“2020 was a standout recruitment year for CIA despite the pandemic. Our 2021 incoming class is the third-largest in a decade,” the agency told Fox News.
Fox News’ Yael Halon contributed to this report.