Army quietly pulls this video ad after learning it features convicted child rapist


An Army ad titled ‘Honor’ is no longer running after leaders discovered the campaign showed a disgraced soldier who was sentenced to 20 years for raping a 15-year-old girl.

The 15-second televised recruiting ad aired May 8 and was quietly removed May 15 within hours of Army leaders discovering it contained imagery of convicted child rapist then Spc. Nicholas Marcum.

According to Business Insider, who learned of the ad and its removal through a leaked document, the imagery used in the commercial was taken in July 2014 during a photo shoot at Fort Wainwright in Alaska. It goes on to note that the soldier was convicted at court martial on July 14, 2015.

Business Insider reports an executive summary details how the Army vets its on-air talent.

“All soldiers, civilians and family members are vetted prior to filming in any national or local advertising effort. However, participants are not usually vetted a second time if images are later used,” Maj. Avon Cornelius wrote of the incident in an unclassified executive summary.

Business Insider also reports the campaign aired an estimated 245 times nationally, according to figures from iSpot TV.

Marcum, who was reduced in grade to E-1 and ordered to forfeit all pay and allowances, was convicted in a general court martial and sentenced to 20 years in Fort Leavenworth for “forcible rape of a child” in September 2016, the Alaska Dispatch reports.

Marcum is incarcerated confined at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. The barracks is the military’s only maximum-security correctional facility.

After Marcum serves his sentence, he will be dishonorably discharged.

Although the Army has done its best to scrub the airwaves, the video is still circulating.

In an effort to make sure this type of error never repeats itself, the Army is directing the rapist’s image never be used again, according to the Business Insider.

“We have put in place measures to ensure secondary vetting of images in all future productions to minimize any similar circumstance occurring again,” Cornelius wrote in the executive summary.

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Author

  • Jim Verchio is a staff writer for Popular Military. As a retired Air Force Public Affairs craftsman, Jim has served at all levels. From staff writer to Editor-In-Chief, he has more than 30 years experience covering military topics in print and broadcast from the CONUS to Afghanistan. He is also a two time recipient of the DoD’s prestigious Thomas Jefferson Award for journalism excellence.

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