In the girl power-themed video, Perry dumps her cheating boyfriend, then enlists after seeing a bumper sticker that says “All Women Are Created Equal, Then Some Become Marines.”
The Corps green-lighted the video because it was an opportunity to feature female Marines and reach the young, worldwide audience that follows music videoss, said Lt. Col. Jason Johnston, director of the Marine Corps Motion Picture & Television Liaison Office in Los Angeles.
“My job is really to educate the public about what the Marine Corps does,” he said.
“Millions of people who probably have no exposure to the Marine Corps got a chance to see our female Marines and what they do,” Johnston said. “So I thought that was pretty cool.”
Also, he said, the director would probably make the video anyway. The Marine Corps saw it would be better for it to be realistic.
As for Perry, she told MTV News, “For three days, I was like a wannabe Marine, which was so difficult.”
She was sore and exhausted, but, “I learned how to flip someone. I learned how to flip them on their back. I learned how to wrestle underwater.”
But though the Marines taught Perry how to salute, carry a rifle and perform mixed-martial arts moves, the video isn’t ultra realistic.
It shows her storming a beach in an amphibious assault vehicle, which is something female Marines probably wouldn’t do.
Johnston said he has seen women as passengers in these beach-storming “amtracks” during training exercises, so he cleared it for the video.
“They’ve got to get to shore somehow. Just because they are women, they’re not going to take the ‘nice’ boat,” he said. “The way I looked at it, ‘Could this happen? Yes.’ Therefore, I would allow this to happen on camera.”
Also, Perry and her comrades are shown carrying logs and boats overhead and lying with linked arms in the pounding surf. Those are Navy SEAL training tactics, not ones usually employed by Marines.
But Johnston said the director liked them. It’s Hollywood, after all.
The magic of the camera made 80 Marines and six military vehicles look like a sizable invasion force.