The New York Times
Monday, December 31, 2012
Maxim Magazine Focuses on Military, Veterans and Their Families
By CHRISTINE HAUGHNEY
CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ark. — Scaling elevator shafts and sliding through sewers in mud-caked fields at a military training camp here would not be what most people would call a vacation. But for 10 Special Operations soldiers from the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force, participating in an event called the Maximum Warrior contest, these challenges had a singular aim: to be in Maxim magazine.
Maxim, a testosterone-fueled magazine featuring adolescent humor and plenty of scantily clad actresses, has become for today’s Army what Esquire was to soldiers fighting in World War II and Playboy was during the Vietnam War.
“They’ve got hot chicks, guns, cars, trucks, a little bit of everything,” said Christopher May, a 38-year-old master sergeant in the Marines based at Camp Pendleton in California. He decided to compete in the contest, sponsored by the magazine, to enhance his credibility with younger officers who are die-hard Maxim fans.
On a recent December day in Crawfordsville, 20 miles west of Memphis, as he sat at a barracks table littered with Maxim magazines and cleaned his .45-caliber Remington pistol, he said that Maxim was “the most common magazine hanging around” during his eight deployments. That popularity isn’t an accident. The magazine has focused on the military, veterans and their families as a source of growing readership.
In 2013, Maxim hopes to turn its annual “Salute to the Military” issue — which includes content like how to approach dating after losing a limb in combat and highlights of celebrities who have served in the military — into a quarterly publication. Maxim will continue to work with the U.S.O. on military-sponsored events. It also will continue to run the Maximum Warrior contest, and will use videos from the event online and on the Maxim Xbox app.
The unabashed celebration of the military sets Maxim apart from many mainstream publications. Matt Willette, a 42-year-old special operations manager for ATK Tactical Systems — Blackhawk, provided the uniforms for the Maximum Warrior competition because he said the company wanted to reach military consumers who often buy their own gear. Mr. Willette, who served in the Army from 1988 to 1996, also likes Maxim’s pro-military approach.
“Most guys in the military have not been treated well by the media,” Mr. Willette said. “So when we do find one like Maxim, we want to embrace it.”