What’s in a brand?

PFC Hunter Christian of the 3rd Battalion, 172nd Infantry Company (Mountain), Maine Army National Guard races through a 12-mile ruck march near the 240th Regiment Regional Training Institute in Bangor, Maine as part of the State-level Best Warrior Competition. Maine Army National Guard Photo by SPC Jarod DyePFC Hunter Christian of the 3rd Battalion, 172nd Infantry Company (Mountain), Maine Army National Guard races through a 12-mile ruck march near the 240th Regiment Regional Training Institute in Bangor, Maine as part of the State-level Best Warrior Competition. Maine Army National Guard Photo by SPC Jarod Dye

A New Look for a New Generation

In December of 2018, the Army National Guard introduced a new brand identity and branding guidelines for all 54 States, Territories and the District of Columbia.

The most noticeable change is the new Army National Guard logo. The logo, which includes a customized version for every State and Territory, now displays a gold star on a black background and the words “Army National Guard.” If that sounds a bit familiar, it’s because it should. The new branding falls in line with the larger U.S. Army brand. In fact, a goal of the branding change was to better tell the story of the Army National Guard’s connection to active duty Army. 

PFC Hunter Christian of the 3rd Battalion, 172nd Infantry Company (Mountain), Maine Army National Guard races through a 12-mile ruck march near the 240th Regiment Regional Training Institute in Bangor, Maine as part of the State-level Best Warrior Competition. Maine Army National Guard Photo by SPC Jarod Dye
PFC Hunter Christian of the 3rd Battalion, 172nd Infantry Company (Mountain), Maine Army National Guard races through a 12-mile ruck march near the 240th Regiment Regional Training Institute in Bangor, Maine as part of the State-level Best Warrior Competition. Maine Army National Guard Photo by SPC Jarod Dye

“Our new logo is more closely aligned with our associated brand, the Army,” explained LTC Stephen Warren, branch chief of marketing for the National Guard Bureau’s Strength Maintenance Division. “Research shows that the public, and even active duty service members, are often unsure of the Army National Guard’s relationship to the U.S. Army. The rebrand makes it clear that the Army National Guard is part of the Army.”

The emphasis on the relationship between the Army National Guard and the U.S. Army serves to help promote the Total Army concept and the understanding that our country has just one Army, and that Army is made up of the active duty, Army National Guard and Reserve components. 

“The Army National Guard is very proud of our community ties and our unique domestic and federal mission,” LTC Warren said. “But we all wear the U.S. Army patch on our uniforms. We attend Army schools. We live the Army values. Demonstrating our relationship to the Army through our new branding should result in a better understanding of our role within the Army and in more value being placed on the readiness, training and capabilities of the Army National Guard.” 

A secondary goal of the rebrand is to create an image that is reflective of the modern Army National Guard. Along with the logo, the Army National Guard is rolling out a research-based value proposition and themes for all States and Territories to help align local and national marketing strategies. This strategy was employed in an effort to better inform communities across the country of the Army National Guard’s unique role, while also engaging potential recruits. 

“Not many people in the communities know the difference between the Coast Guard, the National Guard and the Army,” said LTC Warren. “Part of our rebranding deals with education. We believe telling a unique Guard story that resonates with potential Army National Guard Soldiers and their influencers will set us apart from the other components and help reconnect America with the amazing story of the Army National Guard.” 

Roll out of the new brand and marketing changes began in January of this year and will continue throughout 2019. 

“The Army National Guard is changing and we’re excited about it,” LTC Warren said. “I think we are going to see a lot of positive things for the organization. We have a great story to tell.”

By Staff Writer Tatyana White-Jenkins

Share this Article: