Thursday, 18 May 2017

US Army pulls recruiting ad after learning soldier featured is a convicted rapist

FILE PHOTO - U.S. army soldiers are seen marching in the St. Patrick's Day Parade in New York, March 16, 2013. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

The US Army quietly pulled a 15-second televised recruiting spot earlier this week after learning that one of the soldiers featured was a convicted rapist, according to a leaked document obtained by Business Insider.

The spot, titled "Honor," began airing nationally on May 8 and was removed from all media outlets on May 15. It was pulled about an hour after Army officials learned an image taken in July 2014 featured a soldier who was convicted of rape the following year.

"All soldiers, civilians, and family members are vetted prior to filming in any national or local advertising effort. However, participants are not usually vetted a second time if images are later used," Maj. Avon Cornelius wrote of the incident, in an unclassified executive summary.

The "Honor" campaign aired roughly 245 times nationally, according to figures from iSpot TV. 

Although the executive summary does not mention the convicted soldier's name, it does mention the image used in the commercial was taken in July 2014 during a photo shoot at Fort Wainwright in Alaska. It goes on to note that the soldier was convicted at court martial on July 14, 2014. 

According to the Alaska Dispatch, former Spc. Nicholas Marcum, 28, was convicted of "forcible rape of a child" and sentenced to 20 years in prison for the rape of a 15-year-old girl on July 14, 2014.

Besides pulling the commercial, the Army is directing the soldier's image never be used again. "We have put in place measures to ensure secondary vetting of images in all future productions to minimize any similar circumstance occurring again," Cornelius wrote.

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