Game Theory

Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself?

My name is Sergeant STAR, which stands for Strong, Trained And Ready. I’m an artificial-intelligence agent created for the U.S. Army to provide you with information about Army life.

I don’t want to waste our readers’ time with one-sided propaganda. Do you promise to answer my questions truthfully?

After a lot of training by some of the best Soldiers, I know a great deal about the Army and soldier life. I would be happy to answer your questions about becoming a soldier.

Is it true that the Army has a new slogan?  

Army Strong is the new slogan, or signature, for the new Army recruiting advertising campaign … Army Strong is a commitment to serve and an opportunity to transform young Americans into powerful individuals who are mentally, emotionally, and physically strong.

I assume that returning veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts have proven themselves to be Army Strong. Many of these veterans argue passionately that war is not a game. Do you agree with them?

You can read more and download America’s Army from this page.

What is America’s Army?

`Sergeant STAR points me toward a web page that says “America’s Army is one of the five most popular PC action games played online. It provides players with the most authentic military experience available, from exploring the development of Soldiers in individual and collective training to their deployment in simulated missions in the War on Terror.”`

But that’s not really my question. I’m asking if we should deceive youth by making them think that war is a game?

You can read more and download America’s Army from this page.

Umm … OK. You already said that. Let’s try a different topic. Many analysts point out that African Americans and Latinos are disproportionately bearing the burdens of the Iraq War. Is this true?

The Army takes pride in having soldiers of every race, religion, gender, and economic background. The Army’s Equal Opportunity Program is designed `to` ensure fair treatment for military personnel, family members, and DA civilians. Discrimination of any kind is not tolerated in the U.S. Army. In the Army, we’re all green.

ROTFL, Sergeant STAR. That sound-bite about being green is pretty funny. But is it true that these Americans constitute a disproportionate number of deaths and injuries?

It’s possible you could be injured in any job, not just the Army. The Army prides itself in training of all Soldiers to ensure they are prepared for any situation. In the event of injury, Soldiers are treated by some of the best medical professionals in the world on the Army health-care team.

But aren’t these critics concerned about more than injuries? The Iraq Coalition Casualty Count reports that 3,126 soldiers have died since the war began in March 2003.

Unfortunately, some soldiers do die during combat. The possibility of death exists in every profession. In the event that a soldier dies, the Army provides compensation for the family.

But wouldn’t families rather have their children, spouses, and parents return home from war in one piece?

SOLD (Spouse Orientation and Leader Development) is an innovative system for providing services to Army spouses, helping them make the most of life in the military. Although SOLD’s primary focus is spouses, Soldiers, parents, children, and significant others can benefit as well. SOLD enhances performance, readiness, retention and recruiting by supporting the families who support and influence the Soldier.

Sir, a series of credible reports argue that the Bush Administration deliberately manipulated intelligence to build a case for war. Does this make you angry?

I’m here to help you navigate though and answer your questions about the Army. I’m not here to discuss politics.

OK Sergeant STAR. I understand that you are not allowed to think critically about the war, but how do you feel about the widespread use of torture in this conflict? Have you read the most recent Amnesty International report on human-rights violations conducted by the United States?

OK Private, watch your language or I’ll have to shut you down.

Sorry. I didn’t mean to be disrespectful. But surely this is a legitimate question for a potential recruit to ask. Shouldn’t we be able to discuss torture practices that undermine the spirit of the US constitution?

That’s strike two, Private. One more bad word and I’m outta here.

Wait a second. If you silence me for speaking about the topic of torture, aren’t you proving that this is a completely one-sided perspective on the risks of military service?

Your session with SGT STAR has been terminated because of inappropriate use. 


Note: Special acknowledgment to the recently revived Radar Magazine for being the first to interview Sergeant STAR. Readers can chat with him at


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