U.S. Navy Promotes Drag Queen to Digital Ambassador to Reach Younger Recruits Amid Hiring Crisis
By Daily Mail // May 3, 2023
(DAILY MAIL) – The United States Navy has turned to a drag performer in its efforts to reach younger recruits on digital platforms and social media.
Yeoman 2nd Class Joshua Kelley, whose stage name is Harpy Daniels, announced on TikTok in November that he would be the Navy’s first ‘digital ambassador,’ highlighting his journey from performing on board beginning in 2018 and growing to become an ‘advocate’ for those who ‘were oppressed for years in the service.’
Kelley, who identifies as non-binary, was one of just five active sailors to participate as ‘digital ambassadors’ for the Navy in its ‘efforts to reach a wide range of potential candidates,’ a spokesperson told Daily Caller.
None of the digital ambassadors were paid, the spokesperson said, and no promotional or recruiting materials with the ambassadors exist.
The campaign is reminiscent of Bud Light’s partnership with trans-star Dylan Mulvaney which led to an immediate backlash, cost billions and caused the brand’s sales to plummet.
The Navy’s digital ambassador program has now ended, running from October 2022 through March 2023, and officials are now working to assess its effectiveness.
But authorities say the Navy is still expected to fall 8,000 short of its recruitment goals for the year.
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