The Army's first commercial for its new 'What's Your Warrior' marketing campaign is here, and it's basically the equivalent of 'Avengers Assemble!' for the next great generation of soldiers.

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For the first time, the Army brass and defense industry folks descending on Washington, D.C. for the annual Association of the U.S. Army conference will be joined by the Army's latest pride and joy — it's team of professional gamers.

Yes, the Army really has that.

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New soldiers arriving for their first day of Basic Combat Training, Aug. 19, 2016 with Company F, 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment on Fort Jackson, S.C. are "welcomed" by drill sergeants from both the U.S. Army and U.S. Army Reserve. (U.S. Army/Sgt. 1st Class Brian Hamilton)

Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.

A year after missing its recruitment goals for the first time in more than a decade, the U.S. Army announced on Sept. 17 that it will meet its target of 68,000 new soldiers for the 2019 fiscal year.

But despite touting new initiatives, digital platforms, and marketing techniques (and lowering its goal by 12,000 in 2019 amid a more modest growth plan in the next five years), the Army is not in the clear yet. The service's new initiatives should be the expectation rather than considered innovative — and if the Army really wants to make good on its modernization promises, it has to ask hard questions about current processes

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Philadelphia rugby star Nasair Boston-Epps was denied entry to the Army for an old stray bullet wound. The former secretary of the army read an Inquirer column about him and got him approved. On Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019, Boston-Epps meets with his recruiter Quoya Dubose at the recruiters office in North Philadelphia. (The Philadelphia Inquirer/Steven M. Falk via Tribune News Service)

The man on the phone told Quiana Boston that he had run the Army for President Obama. And that he'd like to try to help her son achieve his dream.

Boston was hopeful, but cautious. Her son, Nasair Boston-Epps, had already lost so much. A star player on his rugby team in North Philadelphia, the Nomads, and a standout cadet at the Philadelphia Military Academy, Nasair was shot last year on his way to his after-school job at McDonald's. It was a stray bullet, and it nearly killed him.

It nearly killed his dream, too: of becoming a physical therapist in the Army, following his grandfather and great-great-grandfather, Vietnam and World War II vets, and his father, a Navy veteran of the Gulf War. But, after a grueling fight to get his strength back and return to the rugby pitch, the gregarious kid built like a tank was rejected when he tried to join the Army.

They said the wounds from the bullet were disqualifying — a snap decision that surprised his doctors, teachers, and recruiters, who all knew that Nasair had recovered fully.

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AP Photo/Gerry Broome

The Army is investigating a situation surrounding a 19-year-old's recruitment, including claims that his recruiter encouraged him to hide his autism diagnosis.

First reported by Army Times, Garrison Horsley and his father allege that an Army recruiter "encouraged him to hide potentially disqualifying factors in order to enlist as a human resources specialist." Horsley has high-functioning autism and congenital arm disorder that limits the movement in his left arm, Army Times reports; he was also being treated for "a mild episode of recurrent depressive disorder."

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AP Photo/Michael Sohn

An investigation is underway after an Army recruiting company commander in Houston, Texas, issued a memo that included a phrase used by Nazis and displayed in death camps during World War II, "Arbeit Macht Frei," which roughly translates to "work sets you free."

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