The “He volunteered for Submarine Service” propaganda poster was used during World War 2 to recruit young men to the U.S. submarine service.
The image depicts a handsome uniformed young man embracing a beautiful woman. The women can be seen straightening his badge with her right hand, while her left arm is draped around his shoulder in a romantic embrace. The two seem to be surrounded by an orange warm glow.
The poster tries to play on the heroics of the handsome young sailor and how he makes his girlfriend proud and attracted to him through his service. It capitalizes on the libido of the young men who may be viewing this poster on the street or in a bar. The poster tries to convey the idea that if you enlist in the navy you will be the object of attraction for young women as well.
A job as a submariner during World War 2 was one of the most dangerous positions possible. An estimated 1 in every 5 of those enlisted were lost either to enemy ships or storms at sea. Therefore, the need to recruit for these positions was strong.
The “He volunteered for Submarine Service” poster was published in 1944 by Jon Whitcomb who was a well known for illustrations of glamorous women during World War 2. Some other navy recruitment posters published during World War 1 and 2 include the Above and beyond the call of duty and the America calls – Enlist in the Navy.