While some branches of the U.S. military such as the Marine Corps have placed significant restrictions on the use of social media networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter by troops, the National Guard has embraced these new communications tools. A recent article from the National Guard Bureau details exactly how National Guard members from enlisted men through top brass are embracing social media as a valuable new communications tool.
Not only does the National Guard have pages on social networking sites including Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube, but many National Guard troops and officers are using the site to communicate with the outside world. For example, Gen. Craig McKinley recently posted the following update on his Twitter page after a recent round of exercises:
“Just shot my first rounds from a M1A1 Main Battle Tank. Killed 3 of 4 targets. Best Tank on the planet!”
National Guard spokespeople say that embracing social media has two main benefits: it increases their visibility with potential new recruits and lets them tell their side of the story instead of having someone else do it for them. And the National Guard is seeing results: views of their Web page have doubled in recent months after they began more aggressively pursuing social media network as part of their overall outreach initiative.