| 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
US Army Social Media Handbook
US 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
Woman's Veterans Initiative Shows Major Muscle with Habitat for Humanity Build
Posted: 2015-11-25 09:37 AM
ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota Women Veterans Initiative (WVI), a group orientated toward networking Minnesota women military members and veterans brought 16 service(wo)men from all services, ages and backgrounds together, November 12, to assist in a Habitat for Humanity build. Eleven of the 16 women are current or former Minnesota National Guardsmen.
"We started celebrating Veterans Day this way in 2008 with Habitat for Humanity and enjoy coming back each year to build," said Trista Matascastillo, program officer for Veterans Voices and chairman for the WVI. "We learn new skills, build our own confidence and make new friends. There are 27,000-plus women vets in Minnesota and so often we hear that women veterans feel isolated and alone and having events like this is just another way to bring us out and together."
The group started in the morning with a brief on the tasks for the day and quickly got to work, going above and beyond by organizing the work-site and making sure there was a high attention to detail.
Empowering Girls and Influencing the Next Generation
Posted: 2015-11-17 10:51 AM
ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota Air National Guard and the Soroptimist International of the Twin Cities partnered together to present the documentary film 'Girl Rising' at the 133rd Airlift Wing on Saturday, Nov 7 2015.
The event featured a C-130 tour for any of the attendees, which included girls as young as nine. Following the tour, the documentary film 'Girl Rising' was featured and ended with a panel discussion. Topics included overcoming obstacles, mentors and people who have inspired them along the way.
"I think events like this are essential in opening our doors to the community and raising awareness about important issues not only local, but around the world - often these are places many of our wing members have deployed to," said Master Sgt. Theresa Mensinger, Diversity and Inclusion Senior Non-commissioned officer.
Duluth's 148th Fighter Wing has new leader
Posted: 2015-11-16 07:47 AM
DULUTH, Minn. - With the handing-off of the 148th Fighter Wing's flag on Saturday, Col. Jon Safstrom has become the new wing commander.
The Duluth native assumed the leadership role from Col. Frank Stokes, who is leaving Duluth after leading the 148th for more than six years to become chief of current operations at the National Guard Bureau in Arlington, Va.
During Saturday's Change of Command Ceremony at the Minnesota Air National Guard base in Duluth, Stokes passed the flag of the 148th "Bulldogs" to Brig. Gen. David Hamlar, who then passed the flag to Safstrom, symbolizing the accepting of the command.
133AW and Best Buy Corporate join together to support Operation Gratitude
Posted: 2015-11-12 12:51 PM
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing and employees from Best Buy Corporate joined forces to support Operation Gratitude at the Best Buy corporate headquarters in Bloomington, Minn., Friday, Nov. 6, 2015.
Operation Gratitude is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, volunteer-based corporation, funded entirely by private donations. Every year, Operation Gratitude sends more than 150,000 individually-addressed care packages to Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines deployed overseas.
On Friday, more than 30 members from the 133rd Airlift Wing worked side-by-side with employees of Best Buy Corporate to pack bags filled with snacks, small electronics and other items to be shipped to deployed military members overseas. The efforts paid off and the group packed nearly 1,800 bags in under an hour.