A recent survey revealed that almost half of service members use tobacco products with higher use among junior enlisted service members ages 18-25. DOD officials aimed to reach those younger service members with the video competition.
The “Fight the Enemy” competition, sponsored by the Innovation Office under the assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, declared tobacco use an “enemy” that degrades health, fitness, work productivity and mission readiness. Service members from around the globe submitted videos last fall promoting tobacco-free living.
Videos teams from five different bases made the final cut in the competition: Fairchild AFB, U.S. Naval Hospital Yokosuka in Japan, Malmstrom AFB, Naval Medical Center San Diego and Naval Technical Training Center – Joint Base San Antonio - Lackland, Texas.
The videos received nearly 8,500 YouTube views collectively, and a team of DOD judges reviewed them for originality, creativity and impact to determine the top three winners. The public determined the voters' pick via YouTube.
"A Drag on Life," submitted by the team from Malmstrom AFB, took first prize overall in the competition. Jennifer McMullen, the health promotion manager there, said the goal was to "get the message to young Airmen about the detriments of tobacco use and how it can negatively impact them in all venues of their lives. Most Airmen cannot see the havoc tobacco use can cause on their lives, both long- and short-term."
Fairchild Air Force Base's "Deploy the Drones!" video was selected as the voter’s pick, deeming it most popular among YouTube users. Staff Sgt. Dean Brotherton said it was his wife's idea to use a drone theme. He said making this video was important because he wants "to be around as long as possible to see (his) kids grow up ... I wouldn't want to do something that could harm not only my health, but potentially theirs as well."