Barbie Mania…So Let’s Look at Barbie & Ken’s Military Service

Hamara /
Hamara /

The success of Barbie shouldn’t surprise anyone. The dolls have been selling for decades. And women all over the country, dressed head to toe in pink, rushed to the theaters as a way to reminisce about Barbie and to sympathize with Ken.

Of course, the fact that the leads were played by Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling certainly didn’t hurt matters.

The movie, directed by Greta Gerwig, has made box office history. Just when many thought that movies weren’t capable of doing well in theaters in a post-COVID world, Barbie came in with a blockbuster $155 million during the opening in the US. It’s the best US opening for a woman-directed film in history.

Combine this with the fact that the movie also opened on the same weekend as Oppenheimer (bringing in an impressive $80.5 million), and it’s the fourth biggest box office weekend in US film history.

Not bad, right?

But we don’t want to talk about the movie. We want to talk about how Barbie & Ken managed to take on so many different careers over the years. Specifically, they were always in search of a career in the US military. penned an amazing article that spoke about the military careers of the dolls: “Like many veterans, both Ken and Barbie apparently missed the camaraderie of service over the years, joining every branch of the U.S. armed forces at various times. And just like their fellow soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines, they snubbed the Coast Guard.”

This is, of course, a dig at the fact that the Coast Guard isn’t a DOD branch. Instead, it is part of the Department of Homeland Security. Therefore, many within the military don’t count the Coast Guard as one of the military branches.

Apparently, Mattel feels the same way.

The “Stars and Stripes” series of the Barbies and Kens was as official as it could be. The uniforms that were donned by the dolls were actually approved by the Pentagon.

Barbie became an Army officer in 1989, wearing a female evening uniform.

Barbie and Ken rejoined the Army again in 1990, just in time for the Gulf War. This time, they had Desert Combat uniforms. And in a surprising twist, Staff Sgt Ken actually outranked Barbie (she was only a sergeant).

Not long after, Barbie joined the Air Force as a pilot, wearing a green flight suit. Perhaps this is what inspired 1st Lt. Jeannie Leavitt to become the first female Air Force fighter pilot three years later.

A year later, it was Navy Barbie, wearing Navy whites.

Then, in 1992, Marine Corps Barbie appeared, and she was not only in dress blues but also a Good Conduct Medal and a Southwest Asia Service Medal, proving that Barbie had been deployed.

Now that the Barbie movie has been such a success, we need to see a new and updated line of Barbie “Stars and Stripes” dolls. Perhaps, then, the military can get the enlistment help that they so desperately need.