It’s well known that soldiers can fire a gun and follow orders. But now soldiers are posting blogs and following tweets. With the advent of social media and internet marketing, the US military is hopping on board the social networking bandwagon.
Military blogs are one of the best ways to stay in the know with soldiers around the world. An insider’s perspective, and on-the-ground look at life in the military is now within reach of anyone at a computer. There is a network of military blogs that are endorsed by the US military, but written by deployed personnel in all branches of the military, as well as veterans, reserves, and spouses and family members of the deployed. Readers can follow their favorite blogs to receive updates on the life of a soldier in the front lines in Afghanistan, in the guerrilla lines in Iraq, or deployed on any other mission. There is a blog for almost any current deployment.
It’s possible to “friend” on Facebook any of the US military branches, such as the US Navy, which maintains a Facebook group with interesting videos, photos, and news clips. Many Navy servicemembers and family members will post on the wall to say hello to each other.
The US Army is now undergoing a social media campaign that will allow the Army to interact with civilians and wider society with more ease. One of the major benefits of social media is community-building. Although virtual, social media networks allow family members and servicemembers to join together and share their thoughts, hopes, and fears with each other.
Many units of the US military already have e-newsletters that have been in print and/or published online. But social media allows for a dialogue, so that the military’s readership can now give feedback and express their opinions with more ease than ever before.