If You Believed The Altruism of That “Hero” Ad, You’re The Mark They’ve Been Waiting For

Rare is the moment when the great brain trust at GF3 dedicates itself to anything but the endless toil of bringing you the wisest college football news and opinions your $0 entry fee can buy you. This is one such moment.

Provided you do not live in Soviet Russia, you are no doubt familiar with the Budweiser ad which showed the surprised young LT receiving an unexpected hero’s welcome home. A ticker tape parade greeted this young warrior, who was picked from among many deserving entrants to ride triumphantly atop the Budweiser wagon.

Or was he?

Rage on, you crazy diamond.

Rage on, you crazy diamond.

Let’s talk about the guy at the center of all this for a moment. Now, now…before your hackles raise in righteous anger about anyone questioning this brave veteran, bear the following in mind. For one, he has served his nation in a time when many don’t, and that service is worthy of honest admiration and respect for the effort and difficulties inherent in military life. Secondly, know that everyone who contributes to this blog is a veteran of the post-9/11 conflicts. Every. Last. One. Deployments range from one to five among us. With that experience comes perspective, and with that perspective comes a torrent of rage that makes Brian Kelly’s sideline aneurysms look like a Hare Krishna tea party.

Chuck Nadd is a young lieutenant. A West Point graduate. A man luckily chosen from amongst the ranks to represent all that is right and good and heroic about selfless service. Right?

Perhaps we should take a closer look at how this commercial came to be…

Chuck Nadd has a website. In fact, he has several of them. The best of them is chucknadd.com, which is about as thinly veiled an attempt at personal brand-building a man could muster, short of making himself a Facebook “Public Figure” fan page. To be fair, the Naddblog is a close second in terms of quality.

Chuck Nadd does, in fact, have a Facebook Public Figure fan page, too. UPDATE: The public page was deleted.

Mr. Nadd has been posing for some interesting self-styled PR shots online for quite some time now. Among the best is him posing with an American flag and cadet saber (yeah, we know it’s actually a sword)–a shot which was prominently displayed on his fan page until yesterday. Our finely honed detecto-meter is slowly creeping toward “suspicious.”

When he’s not updating his webpage and fan page, he likes to pen Op-Eds about the importance of “setting an example” over his french toast. A for concept, F for execution.

That habit is probably just an extension of his first gig as the self-proclaimed Youngest Political Commentator  in America. Granted we’re no strangers to shameless promotion here at GF3, but even we don’t stoop to posting comments about ourselves in the third-person. Yet. UPDATE: That thread has been removed.

Of course, that came on the heels of his demand for a public apology from Senator Kerry in 2006 at the age of 17. Democrat or Republican, I don’t know a high school kid anywhere with the credentials to condemn a Vietnam veteran’s view on foreign wars and foreign policy. Then again, I went to public school. Yeah, we all do some dumb stuff as teenagers. I thought the game warden wouldn’t see me parking with my girlfriend on state land in my ’89 Caprice Estate wagon. Some people prefer to demand apologies from statesmen. Different strokes.

His trip through the hard-scrabble town of Winter Park (where the average household income is $8000 higher than the rest of Florida) was not LT Nadd’s first brush with TV glory. As a cadet, he made a rather embarrassing appearance on Wheel of Fortune. By rather embarrassing, I mean completely devoid of anything approaching the decorum one might expect out of young man representing West Point and the US Army. Detecto-meter into the red zone.

In the present, LT Nadd’s girlfriend Shannon Cantwell–who claimed responsibility for connecting the unpalatable megabrewery with her man–works for Sen. Shelby of Alabama as a correspondent and deputy press secretary. Both she and Budweiser say he was chosen after she entered him in a contest after hearing about it “through her VFW.”

After multiple queries, the VFW came clean about the “contest” they supposedly put on with Budweiser which begat the surprise parade:

Screen Shot 2014-02-06 at 20.21.16“Contrary to what you’ve read within the “associated press junkets,” there was no contest. Ms. Cantwell is referring to word of our outreach efforts that briefly appeared on one of our VFW Department websites.” -VFW 

So it was less a “contest” and more a “casting call.” That’s a bit less-heartwarming, so I can see why they might leave that part out. Sort of like how I tell people I look like David Beckham in that underwear ad, but I’m actually more like a sock full of oatmeal.

rock-or-something_zps3417be41So, the boyfriend of a Senator’s employee is chosen to be the spokesmodel for Budweiser’s commitment to honoring heroes. After his first deployment of eight months. In an Army that has been at war for a decade plus, where you can’t toss a rock-or-something without hitting three multi-deployment veterans and a wounded warrior, as the result of a “VFW contest” that wasn’t a contest. That sounds totally legit. Nothing to see here.

Who dressed the lieutenant?

Who dressed the lieutenant?

At least he did the Army proud by donning a flame-retardant Nomex outer garment that is intended for flight line wear and then didn’t even bother to put his rank on it. On national television. Solid work, LT. Your 1SG just threw a clot at the sight of you.

We could beat this guy up all day for his calculated antics–a behavior so blatantly self-interested that it makes the term “unbecoming” seem woefully inadequate. Those who’ve served their country with humility and pride are likely quite queasy by now. Those who’ve been on three, four, or more deployments (more than half of the contributors to this fine publication) and came home to a long hug and quiet dignity are projectile vomiting like golf course sprinklers.

That’s not the point. Chuck Nadd isn’t the point. He just illustrates the point. We could point out all the ways this “contest” stinks to high heaven and the fact that a guy whose name brings up 20 pictures on a quick image search found his way into the limelight again. He probably has taken enough grief about this for two lifetimes, and I’m sure if he finds himself alone in the maintenance hooch with some crew chiefs he’s going to get a lovely Super Bowl After-party, the effects of which will necessitate some nail polish remover and a trip to the PX barber shop to make right. (Don’t worry, every LT gets one, it’s a rite of passage).

The point of all this tilting at windmills is this: right now, we live in a society where two very alarming trends have intersected in a very bad way.

The first is the use of the military and its members, be they genuine humble servants or disgusting glory hounds, as props. Budweiser plays us like a cheap Belgian fiddle (you know A-B is now part of a Belgian-Brazilian conglomerate now, I’m sure), and they’re far from alone. They couldn’t even be bothered to pick someone other veterans and military families might call the “right guy” for this role. They went with the well-connected, media-savvy known quantity. Why? Because Budweiser is smart enough to know that by and large, where the military is concerned, America is dumb. Why take a risk on some average Joe? Why pick some enlisted soldier who might not be quite as polished or pretty after a few years of war? Definitely don’t pick one of those wounded veterans with a missing limb. That’d be way too uncomfortable. America will lap up any camo-clad figurine Bud throws on the screen, so pick the guy who briefs well. This isn’t actually about the soldiers, anyway. It just has to look that way.

Of course you welled up with pride and misty-eyed joy at the sight of this commercial. We all did. We’re conditioned to do so, whether by societal norms or by memories of our own first homecoming from the sandy outposts of American foreign policy. We have come to accept soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines as props.  Our honorable warfighters have been allowed to become fungible assets in the pursuit of the almighty dollar. Veterans are on par with the Priceline Negotiator and Sarah MacLachlan’s gut-wrenching narration of starving puppies (seriously, cut that out before I adopt dog #4). They’re all means to end. America feels good. Dollars get spent. The terrorists don’t win.

BudBowl2Make no mistake, we enjoy our ducats here at GF3 (when the t-shirts and car stickers go on sale, you damn well better buy some). But don’t for a moment think that Anheuser-Busch gives two good goddamns about a soldier’s homecoming, whether it’s aspirational poster-child Chuck Nadd or a Navy SEAL or anyone else in the uniform of the United States. Chuck Nadd was on the commercial for one reason: to sell you shitty beer (two, if you count his personal dreams of stardom). The military has been on a long, hard road since 2001. Like any weary traveler, a warm hug and a hot meal feels great. The problem is that the people doing the hugging and feeding are packaging up their good deeds and selling it to an American public all too happy to say “bless their hearts” and buy another six-pack of St. Louis Swill.

The second trend is the NFL’s ever-increasing ability to turn patriotism into profit. I suppose this could be considered two sides of the same coin, but the points remain. I don’t like pro ball for a lot of reasons. It’s mercenary sport, and if you’re going to cheer for the Seahawks over the Broncos you might as well tune into quarterly conference calls so you can cheer for Google over Apple. It’s the same relationship. But even worse than that is the NFL model and the soulless measures it goes to to sell us on its wholesome image. The Atlanta Falcons just milked $200 million in tax money out of the city for a new stadium. Why? They didn’t like their old one. It wasn’t nice enough. Someone else had shinier toys. And if you don’t agree to pay the millionaire owner’s ransom? Why they’ll just move the team. Ask Cleveland. Or Baltimore. Or Houston. Or Los Angeles. How’s that for wholesome? They wield your love and loyalty like a weapon and hold you ransom. They’re the husband who beats you and you swear they do it because you deserve it.

How much do you think the NFL gave to veterans programs last year? $800,000. Not even a million dollars. The NFL’s revenues last year topped $9 billion. For those of you who checked your mathemagician skills at the door, that means the NFL gave away .0088% of its revenue to help the veterans it happily trots out to you before each game. Essentially, they bought a house in Winter Park. You gave 1000 times that proportion to your church, and you’re a cheapskate (it’s ok…render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and not a penny more).

The NFL loves to slap those camo ribbons on every fall and show us a clip of some sergeant in Bagram saying “Who Dey!?” at the commercial break. But when it comes time to cut a check, suddenly the Army’s ACU pattern works pretty well because the NFL can’t seem to spot those same veterans anywhere. That is, until it’s time to unfurl a giant flag or fly some jets over the stadium, or sing the National Anthem. To borrow from Kipling…

O it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, go away”;
But it’s “Thank you, Mister Atkins”, when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it’s “Thank you, Mister Atkins”, when the band begins to play.

I’d say nothing about the NFL’s marketing machine could be more shameless, but that would be an insult to their use of the Susan G. Komen pink breast cancer campaign. (Hint: it’s not about cancer, it’s about female viewership and profits). Look at the bright side, though, at least those profits weren’t chewed up by taxes, since the NFL is a 501(c)(6) tax-exempt organization. As Biggie Smalls said, “and if you don’t know, now you know.”

1LT Chuck Nadd may be a bad guy whose shameless self-promotion is embarrassing to the Army and his alma mater. More likely he’s just a guy who doesn’t know when to call it quits, and is now facing a withering storm from hard-nosed veterans who can pick out a “Spotlight Ranger” a mile away and won’t mince words about it. As GF3 stringer and Afghanistan veteran Mighty Dog says, “if you’re alive and you got all your limbs, ain’t nobody need to look at you.”

We all learn hard lessons. Neither possibility about the young LT is germane to the real point and the real problem.

Every time a corporation uses a veteran to shill its goods, the dignity of service is eroded. The military is one of the few truly great institutions in this country–a place where values and work ethic combine to form a fearsome force which can move mountains, topple tyrants, and mend lives both here and abroad. It is not perfect by any stretch, but it’s a damn sight better than most other corners of the American experiment.

We are your warfighters. We are your sons and daughters. We are your fathers and mothers and spouses. We are your sword and protector. We are not aimless urchins. We are not broken objects to be pitied at a safe distance.

And we are not your goddamn beer salesmen.

Shame on you, Budweiser. Shame on you, nameless PR flack who allowed the Army to underwrite Budweiser’s Super Bowl profit grab. In a military where leaders struggle to both help good young soldiers make smart choices about alcohol and to keep troubled veterans from leaning on it to ease their pain, helping sell beer isn’t going to win any foresight awards.

Shame on you NFL, for making Scrooge McDuck look both poor and charitable. Shame on us for lapping it up.

You talk o’ better food for us, an’ schools, an’ fires, an’ all:
We’ll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don’t mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow’s Uniform is not the soldier-man’s disgrace.
For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Chuck him out, the brute!”
But it’s “Saviour of ‘is country” when the guns begin to shoot;
An’ it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ anything you please;
An’ Tommy ain’t a bloomin’ fool — you bet that Tommy sees!

Only 6 more months until college football.





Author’s note: As I said in the initial post—and will reiterate here—this is not an attack piece on Chuck Nadd. The LT made some pretty questionable decisions with regard to his pursuit of notoriety, to be sure. If nothing else, this whole event will likely serve as harsh lesson in the pitfalls of willfully crafting one’s own transition from a private servicemember to a public figure. I doubt he’ll soon forget it. The point of bringing his decision to seek media attention was to illustrate that Budweiser was not out to find a deserving “hero” to honor. It was out to find the right image to honor in its ultimate pursuit of selling more beer. For reasons great and small, he fit that image.  Some of those reasons are his doing, and some are of Budweiser’s doing.

At the end of the day, the LT is still a LT. He is an American servicemember who, as I said, has done his duty when called upon. That commands a baseline of respect. Even if you disagree with his proclivity for public appearances, he is still an officer and a young man with a long life of growth ahead. Temper your vitriol accordingly. None of us is perfect, either. If nothing else, this is a grand lesson in the downside of self-promotion and fame-seeking in the age of the internet and how little altruism actually exists in the “feel good” spots about servicemembers.

Accordingly, many of the more vicious and personal comments have been moderated to keep some sense of decorum alive here.

About The Author

Outrageously handsome. Infinitely practical. Stunningly insightful. An Ozymandian tour de force of college football punditry. Makes Jesse Palmer's tie look fat.


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73 Responses

  1. Mike N

    How come its so hard to find the VFW or AB competition instructions for the “hometown parade” that the girlfriend entered? The VFW seems to post instructions for every essay contest imaginable on their website and a large company like AB would post something for publicity and so the lawyers can add 2 pages of “legalese”. If a quick google can pull up nadd’s blog posts from 10 years ago, I find it hard to believe that details about how to apply for this parade disappeared within two months

    • Dan

      The annoying thing is the Bud Girls’ swimsuits are clearly CGI these days. I am old enough to remember when they actually made the suits and put qualified young women in them. Hell, they even sold the things if you thought your girlfriend could measure up to the standard.

      I already gave 1LT Nadd my advice on FB- we have mutual friends from his USMA days. Again, he needs to learn the difference between fame and infamy and do it quickly.

      • Fumblerooski

        Thank you! Somebody finally got the double entendre hidden in the picture choice. Bravo, good sire. We doff our caps to you.

    • Rob Joswiak

      I am currently running for Congress here in Western PA. I am a veteran. Its a part of my platform but not all of it. I do not think mixing politics and active military service is a wise move. Running as a veteran is one thing, but to try and do both is completely another.

      I say either stay in and serve our country, or get out and try to serve as an elected official.

    • Drew

      Interesting article but why does College Football get a pass (which is supposed to be an institution of higher learning), but the NFL, and Budweiser get slammed for being true to who they are…Which are companies trying to make money. CNN came out with a story a few weeks ago on how colleges are accepting students who have no business being in school, and in one case the student could not read or write. The story also reported that once a student was no longer on a team, the team stopped caring about the student’s academics…Look at all the teams switching conferences for football money.

      I thought the Chevrolet (I believe) commercial with the husband and wife holding hands and worrying about cancer was more offensive honestly. Do you really think the car company cares about people with cancer…I believe they do not hate people with cancer, but to use their commercial to tug at the heart strings of America about cancer awareness I thought it was a little obscene. At least Budweiser used a real person. Yes, Budweiser was pushing their product, just like they pushed their product when they let my mom, brother, and me enter Bush Gardens for free because of my dad’s, and mine military service. I will have soft spot for Budweiser…Even though their beer is OK. for the record, I also found the commercial cliché and tiresome…Our military generation has been spoiled by the love and support of our citizens…This is due to the hard work of our Vietnam Vets.

      I think people on these boards are being a little tough on 1LT Nadd…I do not know the circumstances on how he was selected to have a parade for him. Honestly it would have made a hell of a lot more sense to pick a Soldier/Officer with a family…Nothing better then a bunch of kids running to a parent who just came back from a deployment. BUT if it was his girlfriend that set this up then good for him to have a girlfriend to take care of him! What everyone is saying on this board Is that there are NO connections (or mafias)in the Army…No West Point connections…No SGM connections (just ask what class they were in)…No taking care of people you like connections…His GF was doing what any person would do for their loved ones…Which is hooking them up! Those extra 5 vet points on the FDNY test really come in handy. Saying he should have stayed with his Soldiers is tricky…If his commander gave him a legal order to go home early, what is he going to do, disobey his commander…Again a little rough.

      The blogging and self promotion is buyer beware…Once your name is out there, it is on the internet forever. There are more people (especially West Pointers) now know who 1LT Nadd is and I hope he is ready for it. This is his fault for better or for worse.

      The article is right that the NFL and big companies take the American people for granted…Honestly it is our own fault. Our obsession with sports makes spending one billion dollars for a football stadium seem reasonable. Despite the fact that only eight games a year will be played in the billion dollar palace. We gladly grin and accept this as a reasonable thing. that being said, GO GIANTS!

  2. Chuck N

    I wrote some stuff as a kid that was dumb. I’m not going to deny that, but there are a lot of dumber things I could have been doing. Who didn’t do something they regret as a teenager?

    I have grown since then (including since plebe year) and was SURPRISED by my battalion commander and girlfriend with a parade last month.

    In every single interview the Army’s had me give since the parade, I’ve emphasized that there are so many who have given so much more than I ever will, like I did here: legalinsurrection.com/2014/02/soldier-from-budweisers-super-bowl-ad-shares-story-on-fox-and-friends/

    I joined the military because my parents immigrated to the US and was always taught that you give back to a country that’s given you so much – and September 11, 2001. Period.

    Ultimately, you have every right to believe whatever you want and it won’t affect me. I would hope that you ask my Soldiers first, the crew chiefs who flew with me.

    I truly respect the institutions that I have been honored to be a part of. But understand that behind all the stuff that you see, I have grown and I have a deep love for this country, our Academy, and our Army – because it produces the caliber of people that it does.

    I appreciate the concern as I will continue to grow from it and emphasize that there are many who have given much more than I ever will. That’s not meant as a form of false humility – it’s the truth.


    • Jeff C.

      That looks like a casting call, not a competition. However, as a Captain who has deployed once, I would NEVER choose a junior officer. Good leaders give glory at the lowest level, and recommend it with that. You don’t praise leadership to increase subordinates morale.

      I understand this is was surprise for Chuck, so it’s no knock on Chuck. They should’ve given it to a Specialist who has been deployed numerous times, or someone who became a dad while he was deployed seeing his kid for the first time.

    • Chuck N

      I appreciate your concern and agree with your sentiment. There is only so much you can do when your whole town is watching you arrive to a parade. So what did I do? In every interview (set by the Army) since – to include at the parade itself, I’ve emphasized that there are a lot of folks who have given much more than I ever will.

      You can attack me all you want, but what I wrote in my initial comment is the reality. I know who I am. If creating a public page to deflect friend requests or being put up to a gameshow by your companymates is “self-promotion,” then I’m guilty as charged. Of course, you’ll probably just see these as excuses and still despise me, which is completely fine by me because I still love you for what you have given our country.

      One other note: the production staff told me to take off the rank and American flag on advice of their Army liaison.

      I genuinely wish you nothing but the best and thank you sincerely for your concern.


      • M. L. Doyle

        Why would a military liaison give that advice? Why would a public affairs person approve participating in the spot if the service member wasn’t going to be in the proper uniform?

      • Mike N

        That’s because the military liaison knew that you cannot use military in uniform to sell a product or service. That’s why companies like USAA and Navy Federal blur out all insignia from the uniforms in their ads. This doesn’t apply to documentaries or public speaking because in that case, the “Government” is not endorsing a product or business. If Chuck was simply being recorded for a documentary, he never would have been asked to downgrade his uniform. The Liaison knew the Joint Ethics Regulations and tried to mitigate that by asking him to remove the insignia, so it wouldn’t appear as if the Military was contributing a passive endorsement of A-B

    • Jeff C

      Yeah, Chuck’s reputation at USMA does preceed him.
      He admitted he’s done some boneheaded things in the past, and capitalized on them like everyone would.

      People are missing the focus of this blog entry. It’s not to attack Chuck for participating in this. The author has an issue with Budweiser with their veil of Supporting the Troops. I 100% agree with him. I’m tired of people supporting the troops for profit. If they wanted to do a hometown hero, they should’ve showcased a teacher who helped a poor child get into college, a fire fighter that performed CPR on a still-born and brought it back to life. Over 12 years of War, Supporting the Troops seems over-used. I know people out there genuinely support us troops and we completely LOVE them for that.

      The counter arguement I always get when I say this is the whole Vietnam fiasco. It’s been more than 12 years, Afghanistan is winding down, troops support is still through the roof. We aren’t going to be spit on, forgotten, so lets move our focus from us and focus on internal heros. I get embarrassed when I’m at Sams club eating pizza during lunch and people come up and thank me. I don’t feel like i’ve done enough for that gratitude. Yes, I signed up in a time of war, I’ve deployed, I’ve been blown up, but only a small percent of us Army Soldiers really are out there seconds from dying. I wasn’t one of them.

      So please, stop attacking Chuck about his participation in this, be mad at the Army and the PAOs who approved this.

      -Jeff C.

  3. divorced dad

    When I first saw the ad on Sunday I personally found it offensive. I work a lot with the IVMF and through that have met some of the most extraordinary individuals on the planet. Because of those experiences I have grown to lose respect for any company that exploits service members for the sake of profit. Unless they are contributing to the advancement of programs meant to assist service members as they return to civilian life, I see no other purpose to pull at American heart strings, than for the sake of striking the emotion button to build a brand. This particular ad reeked of commercial exploitation for the sake of profit more so than recognition of what our service members do for our country before, during and after their service.

      • Joe

        Not really but the poor guy never has a clue what is happening so I wouldn’t be surprised if he was unaware there was a war because no one told him. And they’ve already established their preferred use of the military is as props . . . if we recall the Oscars the other year . . . I too joined the Army to stand behind the First Lady and smile for the cameras.

  4. Eric

    As a Veteran myself, I hated this ad. I now own a company in the Craft Beer business (BUD is the enemy). With 2 tours in Afghanistan behind me, I was terrified to even offer an extra discount on Veterans weekend to Vets as I know most gave more than I did and I did not want to be seen as marketing on their backs. I shy from admitting I am a Vet in my business (though do so occasionally). I wanted a military name for my business but decided against it for fear of “green washing.” I quietly market that I offer vets free lessons and equipment on making beer. All that being said, I am hesitant to go after Nadd. By all accounts he was surprised. It does look extremely suspicious. Bud spends lots of money lobbying to keep people like me from being successful in the beer industry. I can see a Senator all to willing to help move this along for Bud. Cheers

    • Iridal

      First, thank you for your service. :) Second, I’m military myself, so is my husband, and it really ticks us off when we see a military discount over a singular, highly advertised weekend when they are trying to drum up sales. Military appreciation weekend, really….? If you quietly offer a mil perk every day, I find that more respectable. Your notion of offering free lessons, in my opinion, totally counts. Thank you. :)

      Oh, restaurants that have a locals night/service industry night and kindly include military members who live locally but don’t have a local ID, they get my thumbs up as well. Thanks for not leaving us out just cause we don’t always become residents.

  5. Opinionator

    Ultimately, Chuck Nadd will take a lot of the fire here from the military community – and some of that is deserved. Sorry Chuck – you got this ball rolling, man. You have a lot of making up to do for the rest of your career and possibly the rest of your life. You need to get out of the spotlight quick. Taking down all this online crap is probably a good start. You need to prove to us that you care more about your Soldiers than yourself, and that is going to take a lot more work than your peers to the left and right need to prove from now on. If you just can’t do it, you probably need to do your required time and pop smoke as soon as possible. You notice I said ‘prove.’ Prove is actions – not words, spoken on a TV interview or written in a blog.

    It’s sad though – because in the end it wasn’t your fault. The Army threw you under the bus – from the PAO brass that approved it (assuming they were contacted) down to your Battalion Commander (where in my opinion the buck stopped). They should’ve realized this wasn’t good for YOU, your career, the ACADEMY (I hoped to God you weren’t a Grad, damnit), or the Army itself. They should’ve told Budweiser that “NO, we aren’t going to do that – here is a list of A THOUSAND other candidates you can choose from. Don’t like them? – Go get someone from the Marines then. They like PR.” If I were you Chuck, I’d be mad as hell and I’d let them know how much they screwed up. I’m mad FOR you. You really want to change the Army and do good for the veterans of this country now? Maybe you should stop being a pilot and become a Public Affairs Officer where you can influence stupidness like this in a positive way. It seems you are already pretty versed in public affairs as it is. But hey, giving up being a pilot would be tough, right?

    Everyone above you made the wrong choices Chuck. It’s on you to make some of it right, if you can.

  6. Miller

    When I saw it, I commented to my wife that Bud had just saved a ton of money by throwing a cheap parade instead of paying a bunch of celebrities, special effects studio, famous director. I was underwhelmed by the whole thing. My second thought was that a junior enlisted, or even a crusty old mid grade NCO with six deployments would have made a much better story. Thirdly, I was wondering who dressed the LT. And if Bud told me to take off parts of my uniform for PR reasons, after they “surprised” me, I would have told them “no thank you”, but since it looked like a scripted event, I’m sure he was prepared to do whatever the director told him to do.

    I was much happier to see some of my 101st pilots buzzing the stadium. However, this writer has an excellent point. The military probably spends more in a season on fuel for flyovers as the NFL donates to military programs. The root of the problem is America, throwing money and time at the NFL like they’re gods.

    • Chuck N

      Concurrent with being told that I was going to speak to a VFW event, I was told that it would be part of a documentary about troops returning home. The “producer” met me when I got off the plane and told me to take off my rank and my flag.


      • Old Grad

        I missed the part of AR 670-1 where the producer has more authority then the US Army. Can you show me where it is?

      • Concerned Professional

        Chuck, I want to be in your corner – I want understand your dilemma. Even in response to the many comments challenging your motivations and participation in this effort.

        Given your education and your patriotism – your comments regarding removing rank and the American Flag doesn’t pass the sniff-test. I find it hard to believe that any company, wishing to celebrate the sacrifices of American Soldiers, would ask anyone to remove the one symbol of American patriotism. Second, you wear your rank on your patrol cap throughout the entire ceremony and parade…so why remove it from your jacket?

        I have watched your interviews, watched the “background” documentary of the the preparation for this parade, and the welcome home ceremony. I even discovered some B-Roll that showed other veteran’s participating in the parade – this begs the question as to why they weren’t celebrate for their sacrifice and why they were not in attendance at the Superbowl.

        Overall – I can relate to the hype of the moment. My parents once threw a “surprise” welcome home party for me when I returned from a deployment. Their sentiment was appreciated, but I quickly realized it was not for me – it was for them. Similarly, none of my friends were present and the audience was a collection of their neighbors and social groups. I felt awkward and out of place. I can only assume that you felt the same way.

        In closing – I don’t question your patriotism in any capacity. I am glad that you serve our nation alongside me. But, it does seem ill-timed and inappropriate, especially when the nation is grappling with leader misbehavior and ethical issues. I hope you can consider the potential implications that this “endorsement” may carry both within the Army and for the American populace at large.

      • Phx Minion

        I am a fellow service member in CN’s unit and was tasked with helping Chuck get down to FL for this event. I was contacted by A-B prior to and it was made very clear that the real reason he was going to FL was to remain a surprise (he was sent under the guise of attending a VFW event), and that it was imperative that he did not wear a uniform with sewn on rank so that he could remove it during the filming due to legal reasons.

      • Fumblerooski

        Thanks for adding this to the discussion. First-person insight is much appreciated. It does beg the question about the rank on his cover, though.

      • Concerned Professional

        Phx Minion – thank you for your perspective. I am sure that 1LT Nadd appreciates your support and attending validity to his original claim. But, I ask that you please provide some context:

        What legal reason warrants removing military rank?
        Why did he remove the American Flag, yet leave the ISAF identifier on his uniform?
        Why is he wearing the Nomex jacket? All of the other participants are wearing short sleeves…

        Strange that he was instructed to remove a badge of rank, yet is identified several times as “1LT Chuck Nadd”. There is a huge banner on the parade route that says “Budweiser Welcomes LT Nadd”.

        Furthermore – there are two other veterans in the parade riding in convertible cars – both Non-Commissioned Officers, both dressed in ACU’s, both wearing their respective ranks. Both are wearing the American flag on their right shoulder.

        Hmmm…a parade organized by Budweiser, and two are Soldiers are participating (albeit indirectly) in the “documentary” that were exempt from this “legal reason”.

        See attached video link – (amateur footage of the roll-out of the the parade). NCO’s are at 2:44 and 3:25. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kI0bTR82eLw

        In the “Official Commercial” – 1LT Nadd’s mother is standing in front of three Soldiers in Army Service Uniform, black berets, ribbons, rank, and name plates. Are they exempt from this legal reason? Again, my spidey-senses are tingling.

        Lastly – other documentaries have been filmed that use all patches and unit identification. One extols the sacrifice of an Infantry Company in Afghanistan. Restrepo shows the good, the bad, and the ugly. Another – “Inside the Special Forces” by the National Geographic Channel, shows the daily operations of an ODA in Afghanistan – where ranks were used, but names were changed for Operational Security.

        Again – I ask, what legal reason and why was it imperative for Budweiser?

        I withhold asking if the Army or 1LT Nadd’s higher headquarters actually conducted a legal review of this “documentary”. We don’t want to know the answer to some questions….

      • DARKBULL

        Actually, LT Nadd was, to the best of his knowledge, correct. The A-B exec was using him directly in an ad to promote A-B. Therefore, he has a requirement to not be actively “advertising” for Budweiser while wearing “correct” uniform. Because other military personnel were in the camera’s eye only as incidental spectators, they are exempt from this. So try to blow holes in his “explanation”, but it does pass the sniff test. And the rank was on his patrol cap because it’s sewn on, so he couldn’t remove it, and likely the producer didn’t even see it because LT Nadd probably was inside with him and he wasn’t wearing it. Seriously, do you guys stay up late at night looking for extra dark pixels in the grassy knoll footage? (I’m making the subtle jab that you’re behaving like crazed conspiracy theorists finding a second assassin of JFK when you look for any little thing to justify why you think LT Nadd is a liar and a self-promoter)

        As for the choice to participate, that either lies with his girlfriend and BN CDR (as he reports) or with his girlfriend, who it sounds like had a lot to do with the execution of “Operation Budweiser Exploits America’s Finest to sell their swill”. Personally, I have no desire to bag on them for the outcome, because if anyone tries to make for a cool, memorable outcome for someone whose gone overseas to serve in our nation’s military, I’m all about saying, hey, thanks for making one of the service members feel special after doing something that day in day out doesn’t feel very special at times (speaking from the perspective of 2 tours in Iraq).

        So I agree with the author, shame on Budweiser, and give LT Nadd a break. I’m glad he got a cool homecoming, and that his pretty girlfriend took the time to make something special for his homecoming, and I am grateful that he served (and nothing in this blog suggests that he did it in any other way but honorably).

      • Interesting

        Dark bull, I love that you explained your grassy knoll jab as if the authors of this blog wouldn’t understand it.

  7. SwoupdaWoup

    As a Winter Park native, and someone who went to high school with Lt. Nadd, I took multiple issues with this ad. In fact, in infuriated me.
    Of course, it is difficult to critique the ad without critiquing Charles-Fiodor (his actual first name–changed to Chuck in what seems a blatant nod to rural fetishist right wing politics). However, I will leave him be.

    What infuriated me more is the depiction of my home city. Winter Park is a suburb of Orlando (where I grew up). Orlando is a troubled, but beautiful place, not overly wealthy in spite of its many affluent suburbs, of which Winter Park is the oldest and most prominent. Winter Park is conveniently served by Orlando Int’l Airport, a large airport accessible by several major high ways through heavily developed urban sprawl. This is not the image present in the ad–Nadd is flown by charter plane to SANFORD airport, almost never used for flights into Orlando. Nadd drives from Sanford (heavily rural) to WP, allowing Budweiser to set up images of sweeping fields and farms, of which there are none in Winter Park or Orlando proper.

    Moreover, the entire city seems to turn out for the parade except for (surprise!) all of its minority inhabitants. Maybe they’re too busy…actually fighting. Anyway, Orlando is a metropolitan city, and downtown Winter Park is minutes away from historic Eatonville, one of the first all-black incorporated cities. Winter Park itself has several historically black neighborhoods (s/o Hannibal Sq/Aloma). Yet–how many black folks do ya’ll see in the spot? They show up in three frames. Awful.

    This just plays into the fetishization of white/rural America that blatantly panders to conservatives (I rolled my eyes at Lt. Nadd on Fox news the next day), as does the deification of service members reflected by the commercial. I am unaware of anything that Lt. Nadd has done to designate him as a hero; he is currently stationed in NY, and served in Afghanistan, flying a Black Hawk with little note. What about this denotes the man as a hero?
    Finally, I think the message that “Every Soldier deserves a hero’s welcome” white washes the role of the military in our society, and obscures a very real debate about the normative values of military service and how returning soldiers should be treated.

  8. Big Ern

    Although I believe the emotion was real, Chuck certainly had to know “something” was up. You can throw out all the prior acts of self-publicity; to me, one just has to imagine the scenario Bud used to get him to the parade… I can see it now…LT, we’re sending you home a week early for a PR tour. Chuck’s response: Hell yeah, sign me up! PR! My response (after 16 months in Afghanistan): Not a chance. F U Army. I’m not leaving here any earlier than the rest of the team. And when I do get to leave, I’m going straight home to my family – not on some PR tour.

    Sorry Chuck. I know you probably weren’t thinking about in those terms, but that’s the problem…

  9. Christopher B. Whalen, CW3, USA

    Regardless of who the person in the ad is or is not the issue. Thehe bottom line is this: The face of a shamless plug for beer is an Officer in the United States Army who should have known better.

    Sir, yes, you do consistently state there are others more deserving than you, others who are the heros, but that does not make your actions in this case justifiable. Clearly you, your girlfriend, and your politically connected friends are pushing for something more when your requirement to be in the Army is over. You should have known better.

    “(As GF3 stringer and Afghanistan veteran Mighty Dog says, “if you’re alive and you got all your limbs, ain’t nobody need to look at you.”)” is true. The extent of people, outside of my friends and family who know I’m even in the military or have been deployed 7 times is no one. No one. The extent in which I use my military service to my benefit is to ask if the place where I am eating, staying, traveling, etc… offers a military discount. I take nothing away from the Soliders, Saliors, Airmen, Marines, and Coasties who shamelessly sell themselves for a few highlight reels, or sideline ‘seats’ at a sporting event after they unfurl the 100 yard long American flag, but it kinda pisses me off, and it makes us all look like greedy takers.

    You are an Officer in the United States Army. As a fellow Officer in the United States Army, I’m fairly certain your reception at your new unit, if it is a FORSCOM unit v. TRADOC or the Pentagon, will be chilly at best.

    This blog does a great job pointing out your personal and professional follies as well as the follies of the NFL and AB Bev.

    Your continued self promotion is the major sticking point with those currently serving, those who have served, and those who gave all and are not coming back. Just stop. While you’re in the Army, stop. Serve out the rest of your term, “pay back” your education at West Point, and get out. Then do what ever you want.

  10. Eric G.

    Thanks to everyone on here for your service, to include LT Nadd. Your Soldiers need a leader who puts them before himself, not a 24 y/o MacArthur looking for a spotlight. Learn from this and move on. If I have learned one thing from all this ranting and raving, it’s that beer isn’t worth the controversy! I’ll stick with JD single barrel. Go Army, Beat Navy!

  11. Old Grad

    Remember that part in the commercial where his “devoted wife/girlfriend” (to take verbiage directly from Bud’s’ casting call) got out of the car and squealed “Are you serious? Get outta here!” upon seeing the parade? The parade SHE set up and knew was coming? She knew it was coming. He knew it was coming. A-B FLEW him from NY to FL on their private jet. On Fox he claimed not to have known he was going to be on a commercial until he got off the plane. Either he’s an idiot, a liar, or oblivious. Even if he didn’t know he was going to be in a beer commercial, he never should have agreed to redeploy early, as a 1LT on his first deployment. A week and a half doesn’t sound like much, but anyone who has been deployed knows that when you get down to the end, it matters. And I know that every multideployment soldier in Chuck’s unit was watching him redeploy early and saying “WTF? What did HE do to deserve this?” A true leader would have stayed on the ground until all of his soldiers got to go home first, not agreed to a PR tour and a ticket home early. Shameful.

    • MILPA

      ^ nope. Completely disageree. I would welcome my commander to go home early. Enjoy the extra time with his/her family. If it gets someone home a little earlier, whether an LT, Private, Seaman or Airman, I’ll do it. LT’s are LT’s, most don’t know their butt from a hole in the ground anyway.

      And seriously, who are you and these other POGs who get to judge him? Speculate as much as you want, but in the end, it’s still specualtion. Lt. Nadd just went along with it assuming his leadership did him well. Obviously, they did not have a good team that explained to the CG/BC/CO of the possible implications.

      I would’ve said no.

      • Fumblerooski

        Thanks for your response. As far as the “judgment” part, I think it’s certainly within the realm of fairness for military members and fellow officers/graduates to make values-based judgments about an officer’s habits of finding the spotlight over a sample size which spans from pre-USMA days to the Budweiser commercial.

      • Concerned Professional

        Your comment about sending a service member home early is well received and heartfelt. Since I am one of the “POGs” you referenced about criticizing the actions of 1LT Nadd, please allow me to justify my suspicion.

        Despite the outpouring of support for this Officer – we have yet to see one indication of his leadership stepping and accepting responsibility for this episode. This is problematic and should immediately sound alarm about the entire level of knowledge about Budweiser’s intent.

        As other’s have noted – be mad at the Army, not at 1LT Nadd. Well, I am pissed at the Army for allowing our service to be used as a pawn; I am disappointed in 1LT Nadd for attempting to justify his actions though several factoids about decisions he made with regards to representing himself, his unit, our country, and our nation.

        I am interested in who paid for the Superbowl tickets for the attendance of both 1LT Nadd and his girlfriend. If Budweiser financed this trip – then there are deeper ethical issues at play – of which 1LT Nadd is personally and professionally accountable for. This is pure speculation, but defiantly justifiable given the coincidence of his “commercial”.

        I am sure that he had to sign a release form to allow Budweiser to use his photograph and the video footage for creation of this commercial. Even after the fact, he should have discussed this with his supervisors and his JAG Officer – at least then he could have responded with more sound arguments as opposed to “the producer told me to do this and that”.

        Can he produce said release form or show that he was not compensated for his participation? One can argue that he should not have to – but given the community that he represents, and the intent of the “hero’s salute” of Budweiser…it would stop the inquiry and criticism. As Fumblerooski has noted – this self-aggrandizement is a pattern with said Officer.

        His behavior (and pattern prior to his service) is contrary to the Army Value of “Selfless Service”. Sure, he got caught up in the moment, he was overwhelmed, he is a Lieutenant. But…he is supposed to be a trained professional and he had four years of Academy training/education to inculcate this value. Looks like it has yet to fully manifest itself, given his continued efforts to gain attention. Other contributors have noted that “Officers eat last”; It’s not about whether he was deserving or not – it’s about being leading by example.

        That being said, I can recognize a potential partnership between the Veteran’s of Foreign War and Budweiser to honor veterans. That sentiment is noble and much appreciated. It is also and effort to increase membership for the VFW – given that their rolls are in decline and they are in need of newer members. I understand that.

        That being said – is 1LT Nadd even a member of the VFW? Has he addressed the organization as originally intended? These are nuggets of information that can support redressing some of the concerns of the veteran community at large. No press release from the VFW…often what is not said speaks louder than words.

        In closing – “Most LT’s don’t know their butt from a whole in ground” (He didn’t know better). Well, he should. He is a leader of Soldiers and America counts on him to know his job,. That’s the price of being an Officer.

  12. John P.

    What this blog post, and all its ensuing comments, boils down to is jealousy. Anyone who thinks that this commercial harmed veterans’ standing with the public or furthered the downslide of civil-military relations is lying to themselves. It’s so ironic to read all these keyboard warriors boasting of how humble they are and would have been in that situation, complete with “humble brags” about their own service credentials. How they never would have allowed such a thing to happen to them. If anybody reading this SPORTS blog says that they would have turned down tickets to the Super Bowl becuase they would be shown on TV for three seconds, they are full of it. Likewise, it’s truly comforting that so many of the heroes on this board would have humbly told the VFW Adj hey thanks for the parade and for getting my whole hometown to come out, I’m not interested. That they would have just kept a stone face and not smiled and waved at their mom as they drove by. They would have actually thought about the drastic effects that a 30-second commercial would have on civil-military relations, while they were in the thrill of coming home. This is very clearly a personal attack and the fact that the author tries to cover up under the guise of bemoaning the commercialization of the military is just a cover. “This article really isn’t about LT Nadd or attacking LT Nadd, it’s just about attacking LT Nadd and then when done venting on him writing a few flimsy paragraphs about $800000 in donations to veterans organizations.” Hey while we’re at it, how disgusting is it that movies like Transformers use actual military personnel in order to make their almighty dollar at the box office? Or that Secretary Gates used pictures of Soldiers in the memoirs he is trying to sell? Get real, you don’t care that people use Soldiers to make money. You’re just jealous that they decided to choose a cherry lieutenant who acted too goofy for you. Did you turn down free admission to Busch Gardens from these very same folks at Anheuser-Busch?? Because you thought it was part of their disgusting marketing scheme? Because you wanted to wait until someone more deserving than you got there? And did you also turn down any USO stuff on deployment because it was funded with $11 million of dirty money from Anheuser-Busch? Yeah. The fact is there is ALWAYS somebody more deserving. There is ALWAYS somebody with more combat tours, more PHs, more V devices, less limbs, etc. But as I’m sure everyone on this page has lamented before, there are also way more soldiers who have never deployed or done anything for their country. The LT deployed, led soldiers, was part of a branch that while not MFE at least gets out the wire, and apparently did a decent job. Believe it or not, Americans, rightfully so, actually value his service. Some veterans are their own worst enemy. They like to pretend that this stuff matters, so they make it into a big deal. Thank you for your continued service to our Nation making uniform corrections on the internet. True heroes all. Like America really gives a sh*t, or even notices, whether he has his rank on or not. The only people who care are Soldiers, and they’re not the target audience. Obviously this was ultimately designed to bring Budweiser money, but who cares? It was still a good thing for them to do, and a good thing for America to see, and maybe it made them think about ways that they can honor America’s veterans. Even if that way of honoring them is just to thank them for their service. We all feel awkward and undeserving when people do that, but ask a Vietnam veteran if they think that thanking a returning vet is a piss-poor way of supporting him. Plenty of comments on real newsites talked about how they cried when they watched the commercial. Yes, to us that seems to be a ridiculous notion, and you might point out how that furthers the phoniness AB is trying to push. But if you really cared about veterans, you’d be glad that millions of Americans were touched by the reminder of those still serving, and not really worry that they were “pawns”. Most every Army post devotes an inordinate amount of pomp and circumstance to welcome home ceremonies, so don’t act like you came home to an empty airport with people spitting on you. Get over it. It’s really not that big a deal.

    • AV8R

      Actually, Aviation is MFE. It falls right under Maneuver, along with Infantry and Armor. Because, you know, helicopters are a maneuver asset. One quick visit to the HRC website will clear that up for you. I found the article to be well written, and to raise some valid points. The issue of this being an LT who gets the ‘glory’ is that it runs counter to everything he should have been taught, trained, and what he should aspire to be. The old adage of the officer eating last is what it boils down to.

    • Scott

      I think you make some valid points. The rank/uniform issues don’t really concern me. If your comments about not going to the super bowl were directed at my prior comments, allow me to respond. When someone questioned LT Nadd’s self promoting ways, this was his response: “I appreciate your concern and agree with your sentiment. There is only so much you can do when your whole town is watching you arrive to a parade. So what did I do?”

      My point is that if he was surprised, I get it. I’ll concede that. You don’t have to sit stone faced blah blah blah. However, if he didn’t agree with being tied to this brand, HE was in no way obligated to attend the super bowl or do those interviews. There’s a series of comments coming out of this young man’s mouth such as “my girlfriend set this up”, “the Army set up the interview”.

      I get it, he’s trying to say that he’s not a self promoter because other folks have set this crap up for him. But, have you seen the jazz flute scene from Anchorman? This clown’s antics are no different.

      If he didn’t agree with what was going on, he didn’t have to partake in any of it. If he was ok with it, so be it. I just don’t think he should act like everything was out of his control.

    • Tommy Loux

      If your immediate thought is jealousy, you are sorely mistaken. There are two parts to this whole situation. Obviously, the first being the use of military props to sell beer. I personally don’t like it, but I get it if it is okay with people. However, the second part- the choice of the prop- is what concerns me, and lots of other veterans. LT Nadd does not truly represent the returning veteran. A more appropriate choice would be a young Soldier or NCO who has undergone multiple deployments, with a wife and children left behind- they would represent the true veteran. Also, as an Army officer more is expected of the young LT: he is expected to stay with his Soldiers until the last one is home; he is expected to complete the mission, which going home early clearly violates; and, as a young Army aviator, he is expected to get as much experience and flight time as possible, because it is hard to get the same quality and quantity in garrison. As for the comment about uniform corrections, when LT Nadd wears the uniform he is representing the Army, and therefore all of us who serve in it. There is a saying that the nametape on the left, the “U.S. Army” one, is more important than the nametape on the right, the Soldier’s last name. If he wants to be part of the military profession, he needs to abide by its rules and portray the profession well- it starts with wearing the uniform proudly and correctly. Finally, I disliked the commercial from the beginning, but my disdain grows the more I discover how much this “hero” is attracted to attention like a bug to the light. Like the bug, sometimes you get zapped.

    • Shane Schmutz

      Well Said John P. You summed up my thoughts pretty accurately. What you wrote needed to be said. It’s good to see that there are people out there with heads on their shoulders.

  13. TheTruth

    Nobody gives a shit about how many deployments you’ve been on, or how big you ribbon rack is. The only issue here is how badly Chuck Nadd is being LIBELED on this site and how much you are going to have to pay from the resulting lawsuit.

    • Jody (Yes, I've heard it a thousand times. CM)

      I’m not sure you understand what libel is.

    • ICanUseADictionary

      It’s not LIBEL (she what I did there?) when it’s the the truth, TheTruth.

    • Barracks Lawyer

      Cool, a Truther. Are you an ‘iron fisted conservative’ as well? Before you ask, I don’t have a long form birth certificate to post with my reply, sorry about that. So, I’m curious about the need for capitalization of libeled. I imagine you screaming that word at your computer screen as you typed out your eliquent post, right before you explained to someone how a job in the TOC is actually more important than crossing the wire. But, alas, to the point of your comment. In order to prove libel, first the burden of proof falls on the plantif. Second, you have to meet a few criteria, one of which is that the statement is defamatory. Considering that most of the assertions made regarding LT Nadd all come from public records (the commercial, his appearnace on “Da Wheel”, his own websites, blog posts, and twitter, his interview apperances etc), it’s a hard sell that this are defamatory. The author primarily uses the young Lieutenant’s own sources, so unless LT Nadd sought to defame himself, there is no case here. In addition, for it to be libel the speaker (or author) has to know, or should know, that the comments are false. Again, there is no validity for this argument – the author uses LT Nadd’s own websites, and makes assumptions about them that are reasonable. Finally, since LT Nadd created numerous websites and a facebook site for himself as a public figure (rather than a private figure) the burden of proof for libel is much more strict. Meaning if he had remained a private figure, libel is easier to proove, as there is a greater protection for your privacy. The second you created a public persona, your privacy is less protected.

      • El Dog Burrito (@ElDogBurrito)

        That was awesome, I almost spit out my beer (not Bud) after the second sentence, but it was when you outlined the elements of libel that my 1L self got all giddy with excitement. Thank you, Sir.

  14. USMC Vet

    Wow. This is worse than a Salem witch trial. Give the poor guy the benefit of the doubt especially as he just got home from a combat deployment and we all know how difficult those first few months can be. Regardless, we all know good and well that he’s gonna get a wood shed beating from his peers so why add insult to injury?

    To respond to some of the arguments, I find it rather ironic that you’re berating him for making his opinion public while you and all those who respond (To include myself) are essentially doing the same thing… As far as I can tell he’s done everything by the UCMJ regarding any game show appearances, articles, websites, commercials, etc. So the guy is an extrovert who likes to give his opinion? In America this is completely legal…

    Insofar as the contest, maybe his girl hooked it up; however, who here would fault a loved one for trying to make their homecoming as memorable as possible? So some beer had to get sold to make it happen? At least it wasn’t wine coolers or tampons…

    Personally I think the caustic nature of this article and the majority of the responses are derived from angry vet syndrome which I previously indulged in until I realized I had become a complete asshole. Check yourself before you wreck yourself and/or your family. I came damn close…

    To me this guy is a brother veteran who deserves our support and at the worst some good natured ribbing. Until I see some solid proof behind the numerous unprofessional and unbrotherly accusations I’ll buy him a cold beer anytime; however, it ain’t gonna be a Bud because that piss is training beer.

    Semper Fi Chuck, welcome home! Remember, haters gonna hate…

  15. nicolatara

    By many standards, my opinion of Lt. Nadd is the least relevant here as I have never served- so I’ll keep that to myself. However, I do feel compelled to comment just to say “thank you” for writing this article and the attention that you brought to the NFL and the way that they capitalize on the sacrifices of our servicemembers. I think it’s shameful and I hope it continues to create a buzz. Maybe the next time the game cuts to a commercial spouting its support for our troops, it will be followed by paid air time for the USO with a donation and a text to donate number AT MINIMUM. Maybe they can start off half time by presenting a check to FMWR- or more specifically- the wounded warriors in transition division of FMWR. I hope these voices here continue to grow. As an Army wife, I’m tired of hearing how our Veterans are so highly revered and worthy of so much respect, but repeatedly used as political soundbites with no action behind them and a marketing ploy for big business.

    So again, thanks.

    • Big Ern

      Some good ideas there. Much better ways Bud could have supported if that was their true intent.

  16. Rob

    It’s clear that there’s a lot of anger in the Army. There’s a lot of anger about the war that Bush started for misguided military reasons and that Obama has continued for dirty political reasons.

    But don’t take it out on Chuck Nadd. He DIDN’T KNOW what he was being drawn into. It was a SURPRISE to him. And the Army has scheduled all of his interviews, etc. Blame the Army, blame A-B, blame his chain of command, but don’t blame this young LT.

    Some of the comments in this thread are spot on. Others are angry. Others are mean. And some comments seem to reflect an unstated resentment that ANYONE who has served would be treated as a hero. I think that some have constructed in their minds a narrative of this war that only has room for victims. That’s really lame.

  17. Travis A

    This kid, and I reserve the right to call him a kid because he was still in high school when I was doing 15 months as an Infantry PL in the shittiest neighborhood in Baghdad, has already been slammed so I won’t add to the dogpile. All I’ll say is this, you wanted the spotlight? You wanted attention? Well you got it.

    You made your bed, now lay in it.

    WP ’05

  18. Big Ern

    Dear Chuck,

    You are not Motel 6. And this is not Travelocity. Please stop responding to the comments. As an emerging public figure, you cannot please everyone. Just ask John Kerry…

    There are three main rules in PR: 1) You can’t ride the middle – either flatly apologize or own it. 2) Have a consistent message. 3) Don’t let emotion get ahold of you.

    I, of course, just made these rules up. I have no PR background, but they seem to make sense (to me, anyway). I was, however, famously unwillingly to play the Army “game” so I found myself in many PR-type situations. To help you out, I thought I’d craft an appropriate response for you.

    “I deeply regret any attention that has been taken away from the thousands of servicemen and women who are so deserving of a proper homecoming. And I sincerely apologize for my part in it.

    As you know, I do have a background of engaging in public discourse and I continue to enjoy being in the public eye. I certainly understand how my background, and this commercial, has made me appear selfish. When I was approached to take part in a documentary about Soldiers returning home, I strongly considered all the implications; particularly, the fact that I would be leaving a week earlier than the rest of my unit. It was difficult to make this decision, but we had already concluded our missions and, ultimately, I decided to take part in the documentary. I knew I would not have family meeting me when I returned home, so I thought I was a better candidate for this than someone who would have had to skip meeting his family upon arrival. Additionally, because of my background and education, I thought I was the right person – my Battalion Commander agreed – to help provide a voice to the thousands of servicemen and women who have served and are serving. I would have been honored to take part in an actual documentary with the VFW.

    Unfortunately, the documentary did not actually exist. I was legitimately surprised by the homecoming that Budweiser arranged and was thrilled to see my family. However, had I known this was going to happen, I would have flatly refused. There are many other servicemen and women who would have been far more deserving of this honor than me, and I would have happily passed the opportunity to one of them. That said, I was honored to be able to represent them in the Budweiser commercial – no matter what Budweiser’s underlying intent was. If just one returning service member gets a better homecoming because of this commercial, than all of this will have been worth it.

    Beyond the commercial, I do regret attending the Super Bowl. Admittedly, I got caught up in the excitement of the commercial and, unfortunately, did not have the presence of mind to suggest Budweiser invite one of my Soldiers instead of me. This part was entirely in my control, and I will always regret not giving that honor to someone more deserving.

    I assure you that whatever exposure I have gained through this commercial, I will use as a platform to further the causes of servicemen and women everywhere. in particular, I will be doing three things:

    1) Challenging Budweiser, the NFL, and every other corporation to continue – and increase – their support of service members by providing more money and by supporting, and establishing, more impactful initiatives.

    2) Working with the USO, VFW, and other organizations to ensure every Veteran returns to a warm homecoming, a stable environment, and, when applicable, a smooth transition into the civilian world.

    3) Working with non-profits, lawmakers, and other organizations to address the alarming suicide rates among returning service members. And working to decrease at-risk service members’ dependence on alcohol and drugs.

    Again, I sincerely apologize for my role in this. I am lucky to have been provided this platform, and I ask you to join me in supporting the above efforts. Together, we can ensure all Veterans get the “commercial-moment” they deserve.”

    Double underline. ANS. Beat Navy.

    P.S. Chuck, feel free to adopt this message as your own. I’m confident you will use this platform to become a champion of these causes. Also, feel free to reach out to me for future PR needs. I’ll be happy to help for a small fee – a Schade’s pizza and a carton of Ben and Jerry’s…

    • Mike N

      Slow clap. We’ll put Big Ern. Also recommend dropping Karl Rove as a twitter follower. Certainly doesn’t help with your message

  19. Mike

    Never really cared for Bud but this commercial completely turned me off the brand. There are other great breweries out there. In the Mid-west there’s Veteran Beer Company (www.veteranbeercompany.com), whose CEO is a vet, only hires veterans and tries to source everything through other veteran-owned businesses. Or Young Veterans Brewing Co. (www.vbcopper.com/yvbc/index.html) on the East Coast which was started by two young Army veterans. These are the people we should be supporting!

  20. James Holden

    I would like to footnote to this post the using of grievously wounded soldiers as prop at State of the Union. By the, merciful, end of that absurd and politically self serving “standing ovation” I was actually yelling at my tv “Leave him alone!”.

  21. John S.

    Reposting, with an amendments, since my messages from last night are still awaiting review, i am guessing because of the links:

    Great article. In reading-up on 1LT Nadd, I saw a video he made for the 2013 Army-Navy game. It seemed familiar.

    A lot of folks make spirit videos, but few are aired during the broadcast of the game – CBS and the Army only pick one or two. If memory serves me correctly, I remember 1LT Nadd’s video because it aired during the game.

    The video can be found on youtube by searching “the longest throw 2013″.

    There is also a longer version that got about 25k hits.

    Not trying to “Swiftboat” this guy, but come on! When he is in Afghanistan he is making spirit videos? And he has access to the Army football team, years after graduating? He had time to go to West Point to make the video?

    What is really going on here? Is this Public Affairs, or is it IO/Psy-op?

    I don’t buy the uniform explanation. If this was on the up and up an Army PAO would have been there to make sure the uniform was straight. They send PAOs to sets all the time for that sort of thing.

  22. Callsign "Darth"

    An open message to Chuck Nadd:

    Chuck, career Navy pilot here, now retired.
    The add struck me a bit off, but I didn’t react to it beyond “another Bud add pushing buttons.” Got up and had a beer to go with the brisket and sausage we were serving at the SB party I was attending. It wasn’t a Bud. The puppy add pushed buttons as well. That is what ads are intended to do: push buttons. Psychology 101.

    I have a question. Pilots have call signs. Was you call sign in your unit immediately agreed as “Go” or did they give you a different one? We have an open bet, some for and some against, that your call sign is “Go.” (I once met a Major Cates in the USAF whose call sign was “Defa.” Go figure).

    That the Army PR chain chose to participate with Bud isn’t something I find right … but I’m not active anymore and the Military is still used for a wide variety of things that don’t seem right to me. I learned that we have an Army to fight and win the nation’s wars.

    Please take good care of your soldiers. They are the sons and daughters of America. If you take care of them, they’ll take care of you.
    Fly safe.
    (Oh, and Go Navy, Beat Army!)
    Darth (USNA grad before you were born)

  23. HostCompas.com

    Sign of the times: Super Bowl ads safer and staid

    NEW YORK — As Super Bowl ads go, so goes America. The A-list advertisers who aired commercial spots during Sunday’s huge game steered clear of controversy while trying to appeal to weary consumers with iconic American images and family-centered topic…

  24. Shane Schmutz

    I don’t know LT Nadd. I’m an ex-Aviator with 3 tours to Iraq. I’m also a West Point Graduate. I think everyone is being too hard on LT Nadd. They guy just served his country. This is all speculation. A lot of you should be ashamed of yourselves. I’m not even religious, but, I can’t help but think of the quote from the bible about casting the first stone. I agree with a comment above. Worse then the Salem witch trials. Cut the kid a break.

    The first half of the article was a bash on LT Nadd (regardless of the author’s multiple comments that it’s not). The second half of the article is spot on.

  25. Budweiser’s Phony Commitment To Heroes | ROK Drop

    […] So, the boyfriend of a Senator’s employee is chosen to be the spokesmodel for Budweiser’s commitment to honoring heroes. After his first deployment of eight months. In an Army that has been at war for a decade plus, where you can’t toss a rock-or-something without hitting three multi-deployment veterans and a wounded warrior. As the result of a “VFW contest” that wasn’t a contest. That sounds totally legit. Nothing to see here. [Go for 3] […]


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