| 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
Norex 2016 Magazine.pdf
Posted: 2016-09-14 11:26 AM
Minnesota National Guard conducts react to contact drills with Montenegro Armed Forces
Posted: 2016-09-14 10:13 AM
U.S. and Montenegrin Soldiers tested their ability to perform battle drills that included squad attacks, react to contact, break contact, and react to ambush while supporting Immediate Response 16 at the Croatian Armed Forces training area of Slunj, Croatia.
"Training like IR16 gets the younger Soldiers the experience in a little more than just what we do at home by going to a different country, seeing a different culture, meeting different people, establishing relationships that you would never get if you go overseas," said Sgt. George Langstaff, a squad leader assigned to the Minnesota National Guard's 2nd Battalion, 135th Infantry.
The exercise and simulations are built upon a decisive action-based scenario and are designed to enhance regional stability, strengthen allied and partner nation capacity, and improve interoperability among partner nations.
University of Minnesota, Minnesota National Guard partner for crisis simulation exercise
Posted: 2016-09-13 04:28 PM
CANNON FALLS, Minn. - The Minnesota National Guard partnered with the University of Minnesota and other humanitarian organizations in a collaborative program to train students and prospective humanitarian aid workers during a three-day Humanitarian Crisis Simulation exercise at the Phillippo Scout Reservation in Cannon Falls, Sept. 9-11, 2016.
"A goal is to help students gain an appreciation of humanitarian work by putting them in an environment typical of humanitarian crises," said Dr. Eric James, co-instructor for the course. "We put the students into complex scenarios so they can apply the knowledge and skills learned from the course. They get to experience first-hand the stress of making a decision under pressure while providing aid to refugees in an unfamiliar country."
The Minnesota National Guard has participated in the exercise for the past four years, strengthening interagency relationships with local and international humanitarian organizations.
Minnesota National Guard hosts fun run to bring awareness to suicide prevention efforts
Posted: 2016-09-09 11:12 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 9, 2016
ST. PAUL, Minn.-
The Minnesota National Guard is hosting a "Power of One" Fun Run, Sunday, September 11, during National Suicide Prevention Week to call attention to suicide prevention efforts in the military and civilian communities.
The run will take place at the Benjamin Franklin Readiness Center in Arden Hills and will help Minnesota Guardsmen meet annual suicide prevention training requirements while building unit cohesion and encouraging connectedness between battle buddies, family members and local community resource providers. The run emphasizes the power that one individual has to save a life and prevent suicide.
"The Minnesota National Guard is committed to preventing suicides in our organization," said Maj. Gen. Rick Nash, Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General. "We are continually looking for new ways to bring the suicide prevention message to our Service members. Our people are our most precious resource and one loss to suicide is one too many."