The U.S. military wants YOU to use social media safely

January 31, 2011

The United States military has been an avid user of social media for quite some time. Recognizing that communication is a core strength, both internally and with its non-military audience, the Department of Defense and related branches of the military have embraced new ways to reach large numbers of people quickly and effectively.

The flip side of social media’s expediency is its transparency. Knowing that its active-duty soldiers and their families at home are using tools like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to keep in touch, the US Army posted its 2011 U.S. Army Social Media Handbook to make sure folks are able to get the most out of social networking without compromising anyone's safety.

Army Social Media Handbook 2011
View more documents from U.S. Army.

By creating a version of the handbook as a presentation, the U.S. Army is able to reach viewers in the private sector, and receive feedback almost immediately. In the first 24 hours, the Handbook received over 14,000 views here on SlideShare. When we posted the link on Facebook, it received comments such as this, from Georgia Cross:

"I like the layout as well as "checklists" and case studies- makes it less intimidating to those that are not typical users. I also like that it covers privacy issues- something that everyone needs to know. I will incorporate some of this into the social media guide I'm preparing for my company. Good Stuff! Bravo to whoever created it!"

Adding to its channel containing social media guides and policies, the US Department of Defense posted their report, "Strengthening Our Military Families - Meeting America's Commitment January 2011." It's purpose is stated here:

“This government-wide review will bring together the resources of the Federal Government, identify new opportunities across the public and private sectors, and lay the foundation for a coordinated approach to supporting and engaging military families for years to come.” —Michelle Obama, First Lady of the United States, May 12, 2010

To get the word out, the Department of Defense linked to the report in a tweet. Someone at the DOD knows their way around Twitter. Check out these hashtags, which resulted in 24 retweets in the first 30 minutes!

@DeptofDefense Hey #bloggers - the WH report on #military families is on #slideshare to embed in your #blogs! @milblogging #sot

Whether you're in the private or public sector, chances are strong that you know someone in military service. We appreciate and support our men and women in uniform and we're glad that social networking tools, when used correctly, can ease the burden of those at home and those stationed in faraway places.