| Social media offers many benefits, but Guard members must remain aware of its risks
ARLINGTON, Va., (3/6/2014) - The use of social media has made it easier for many to stay connected to friends and family. It often provides the opportunities to give near instant communications via text or images and can help ease stresses when Service members are deployed. The benefits of social media are nearly endless and often far reaching.
"Social media spreads news faster than any other media," said Chief Master Sgt. Mitchell Brush, the senior enlisted advisor for the chief, National Guard Bureau, on his Facebook page, adding "it empowers us to effect change and do good on a community, state, national or even international level."
But while there are many benefits of social media, there are sometimes dangerous ramifications if used inappropriately. The use of social media can often have unintended consequences and in some cases, end military careers.
Even things that may be part of an inside joke among friends, may have a larger meaning or significance when the uniform is worn. Guard members must avoid offensive and inappropriate behavior that could bring discredit upon themselves and the National Guard. This includes posting any defamatory, libelous or obscene material.
"You represent the National Guard in cyberspace just as you do in the real world," said Brush, adding "the same military bearing is expected of you here as we expect on the street."
To educate Soldiers and Airmen of the use of social media, both the Army and Air Force have each published a social media handbook which gives guidance for Guardmembers on the use of the medium.
"You are personally responsible for what you say and post on social networking services and any other medium," according to the Air Force Social Media Guide. In addition, "if you have doubts about whether you should post something, err on the side of caution."
The Army Social Media Handbook provides similar guidance for Soldiers.
"Soldiers using social media must abide by the Uniform Code of Military Justice at all times. Commenting, posting or linking to material that violates the UCMJ or basic rules of Soldier conduct is prohibited," adding "it is important that all Soldiers know that once they log on to a social media platform, they still represent the Army."
Even if personal settings are set to private, posted items may not stay private as those who have been granted access can share those postings with others.
According to the Army Social Media Handbook, acceptable postings include pride and support for service, links to published articles about a unit or any information that is already public domain is acceptable.
Prohibited postings include specific unit movement information, gossip, or anything that would represent the military in a bad light.
Guard members should not release personal identifiable information that could be used to distinguish their individual identity or that of another Service member.
Further information and guidance can be obtained by following the Air Force and Army Social Media handbook links below.
U.S. Army Social Media Handbook
U.S. Air Force Social Media Handbook
Behavior in or out of uniform must reflect our shared values and those of our parent services at all times.
By Tech. Sgt. David Eichaker
National Guard Bureau
Guardsman pitches recovery at Twins game
Posted: 2015-09-01 01:41 PM
Maj. John Donovan, the Minnesota National Guard's equal employment manager, threw out the first pitch before the Minnesota Twins played at Target Field on Sept. 1, 2015, to kick off National Recovery Month and raise awareness for Minnesota Recovery Connection.
"National Recovery Month is a national observance held every September to educate Americans that substance abuse treatment can enable those living with an addiction disorder to live a healthy and rewarding life," Donovan said to the pregame crowd at Target Field, just prior to throwing the first pitch. "The message I want to bring tonight - the message that we, the Recovery Community, want to convey is this - help is available whether for yourself or for someone you know who has a problem."
204th Area Support Medical Company Celebrate Their Return to Minnesota
Posted: 2015-08-29 08:44 AM
After a nine-month tour of duty on the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, the Soldiers of the 204th Area Support Medical Company based out of Cottage Grove, Minn., celebrated their return home on Aug. 29, 2015, at Century College in White Bear Lake.
"Our Soldiers provided medical support for the Multinational Force and Observers, which is comprised of more than 1,600 Service members from 12 nations," said Army Capt. Jonathan Vang, 204th Area Support Medical Company commander.
Military Appreciation Day at the Minnesota State Fair
Posted: 2015-08-28 03:36 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 31, 2015
The fifth annual Military Appreciation Day at the Minnesota State Fair presented by USAA on Sept. 1st will recognize veterans and provide an educational opportunity for all fair goers to learn about Minnesota's military community.
"A special addition this year is a morning Veteran Recognition Program just before the flag officially raises on the day at the fair," said Maj. Gen. Rick Nash, Minnesota National Guard adjutant general.
Distinguished Visitors Tour Vigilant Guard Exercise
Posted: 2015-08-28 03:30 PM
SAINT PAUL, Minn. - Distinguished visitors toured the Minnesota Vigilant Guard 2015 exercise on Tuesday. The group was comprised of visiting military officials, emergency response leaders, and government officials.
Their purpose, to gain insight on how the Minnesota National Guard coordinates with military, federal, state, and civilian agencies during emergencies and disasters.