The arrest of actor Jonathan Majors has upended the US Army’s newly launched advertising campaign aimed at reviving the service’s struggling recruiting numbers.

Majors, who authorities said was arrested in New York on Saturday on charges of strangulation, assault and molestation, was the narrator of two ads at the center of a broader media campaign that began at the start of the NCAA’s March Madness college basketball tournament.

Army leaders hoped that the popularity of the star of the recently released films Creed III and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania would help them reach out to young audiences.

In a statement Sunday, the Army’s Enterprise Marketing Office said the Army was aware of the majors’ arrests and was “deeply concerned by the allegations.” It added that while Majors “is innocent until proven guilty, prudence dictates that we withdraw our charges pending the investigation of these allegations.”

New York police said the actor was involved in a domestic dispute with a 30-year-old woman. “The victim informed the police that she was being attacked,” a police spokesman said in a statement.

An attorney for Majors, Priya Chaudhry, said in a statement Sunday there was evidence acquitting Majors and that the actor was “proven to be the victim of an altercation with a woman he knows.”

The Army ads, titled “Overcoming Obstacles” and “Pushing Tomorrow,” are part of a plan to revitalize the Army’s “Be All You Can Be” motto. They shed light on the history of the army and some of the many professions that recruits can pursue.

The slogan “Be All You Can Be” dominated recruiting ads for two decades beginning in 1981. A nearly two-minute preview video released ahead of the campaign’s launch in early March showed soldiers jumping from planes, working on helicopters, climbing obstacle courses and diving underwater. An off-screen speaker said, “We bring out the best in the people who serve because America demands nothing less.”

In the Army’s worst recruiting year in recent history, the service fell 25% short of its goal of hiring 60,000 recruits in 2022. The new displays were a key element in the Army’s effort to find creative new ways to attract recruits and ensure the service has the troops it needs to defend the nation.

Army Secretary Christine Wormuth said the army had set itself a tough target for this year: to aim for 65,000 recruits, 20,000 more than in 2022.


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