Watch CBS News

Keller @ Large: Navy's Expensive New Slogan Is Waste Of Taxpayers' Money

BOSTON (CBS) - The Navy has launched a major push for recruits with a new ad campaign and slogan: "Forged by the Sea."

No doubt about it, in the era of the all-volunteer military, all of the branches need to make sure they are branding and promoting themselves in a way that will keep the recruits coming.

But is this latest costly makeover by the Navy needed to keep up with the times as they claim or is it just a waste of money?

The reported cost to taxpayers of the new ads and slogan is $10 million. It's part of a $457 million contract awarded to New York-based ad firm Young & Rubicam to replace the previous slogan, "A Global Force For Good," which the Navy scrapped three years ago.

So why have millions been spent on new branding?

Not because previous campaigns weren't getting the job done.

That's because the Chief of Naval Personnel, Vice Admiral Robert Burke told a Congressional subcommittee last spring they weren't having a recruiting problem.

In fact, according to analysis by the military news website Task and Purpose, the Navy's been hitting its recruiting goals since the late 1990's, even as it has cycled through a series of costly ad makeovers.

navy forged by the sea
(Image credit: U.S. Navy - YouTube)

But there's one person who will surely benefit from the megabucks promotional push behind "Forged by the Sea" -- Cape Cod artisan Alyson Pacini, who copyrighted the term "Forged by the Sea" for her jewelry line a year ago.

If you see an example of government spending that makes you think "What a Waste," tell me about it.

Email me at, or you can reach me on Twitter, @kelleratlarge and we'll investigate.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.