One goal of propaganda is to derail or hijack public discourse on an unpopular policy. The conversation surrounding the troops detracts from the conversation on war policy. It is used to marginalize critics, because any criticism of US policy is taken to be an affront by proxy on the collective troops. This works because the American cultural mythos post-Vietnam War has shifted from perceiving soldiers as complicit in acts of war to viewing soldiers as brave, sympathetic and oft romantic figures.
Another goal of propaganda is to perpetuate a shared cultural belief. In this case it is that the US Armed Forces are fundamentally virtuous. The average soldier is depicted as someone serving the cause of freedom, protecting the homeland, making personal sacrifices, and living a generally clean life. This cultural mythos makes it a near-taboo to criticize soldiers as individuals.
Here are common pro-military propaganda slogans of the last two decades. If any others come to mind please leave a comment and share your knowledge.
Thank you for your service.
Thank you for your sacrifice.
Thank you for serving your country.
Formula Using “The Troops” as a Slogan
Thank the Troops.
Support the Troops
God Bless our Troops
Actual Bumper Stickers
Proud Air Force Grandfather
Proud Father of an American Soldier
If You Enjoy Your Freedom Thank A Vet
I Heart My Sailor
I love jet noise. The sound of freedom.
My son’s heart is purple. Support our troops.
God bless our troops. Especially the snipers.
My best friend is the US Army.
Land of the free because of the brave.
If you don’t stand behind our troops, please feel free to stand in front of them.