This unsettling Army recruitment video is a master class in psychological warfare

Complete with eerie whistling in the background and suspenseful music, the video is far from the sometimes-cheesy Army recruiting commercials we often see on television. It’s dark and palpably tense, the clips of old cartoons and radio segments from world events combining perfectly to create something that is both intriguing and unsettling.

It accomplishes exactly what psychological operations soldiers set out to do: Influence an audience. As one commenter on Youtube pointed out: “Everything is a weapon. Even this video.”

Col. Chris Stangle, commander of 4th PSYOP Group, told Task & Purpose on Friday that the video was created in-house, both as a recruitment effort but also to literally show people what they can do — part of psychological operations is creating persuasive media. Stangle said that the artist behind the video tailored it a bit after iconic horror film JAWS, where the filmmakers showed restraint in actually showing the shark. Instead, viewers knew it was lurking just below the surface.