FORT BRAGG, N.C. – The poster boy for the military's "Army of One" recruiting campaign washed out of a grueling 24-day course for soldiers wanting to join the Special Forces.
Spc. Richard Lovett cited "personal and professional" reasons for withdrawing on June 18 with 10 days left in the course.
The Special Forces Assessment and Selection course subjects candidates to punishing tasks, including long marches carrying heavy loads. Fewer than half of those who try out for the Special Forces by taking the assessment course advance to the next step, a months-long qualifying course.
Lovett, who is stationed at Fort Bragg, where he is a combat engineer, appeared in TV commercials for the service's new "Army of One" recruiting campaign, which replaced the "Be All You Can Be" advertisements.
The ad featured a lone soldier running by himself through the desert.
"Even though there are 1,045,690 soldiers just like me, I am my own force," he said in the ad. "With technology, with training, with support, who I am has become better than who I was. And I'll be the first to tell you, the might of the U.S. Army does not lie in numbers. It lies in me. I am an Army of one. And you can see my strength."
The commercials were shown during programs such as Friends and The Simpsons and on networks such as MTV that cater to the 18- to 24-year-olds the Army is trying to reach.