| 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
Learning to instruct professionalism and discipline
Posted: 2017-04-19 02:15 PM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - It was a challenging and rewarding two weeks for members attending the Army National Guard Funeral Honors Instructor Course, April 1-14, at Camp Ripley.
Soldiers of National Guard units from all over the United States took part in the course designed to educate team leaders in a variety of funeral honor detail tasks, traditions and responsibilities.
"It's a stressful course, but for our job, we have to be prepared to do our job under stress; and we all really benefitted from that," said Class Honor Grad, Sgt. Ryan Valline of the 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry.
Chaplains support Muslim Soldiers by finding common ground
Posted: 2017-04-18 01:42 PM
ROSEMOUNT, Minn. - The Soldiers of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division had a unique opportunity to speak with one of the U.S. Army's five Muslim chaplains April 7-10, 2017. U.S. Army Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Khallid Shabazz, I Corps deputy command chaplain, travelled from Fort Lewis, Washington, to Minnesota to provide professional development for the division chaplain section.
"Soldiers perform at a higher level when they are spiritually fit," said Minnesota National Guard Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Buddy Winn, the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division command chaplain. "And, it's our job as chaplains to make sure Soldiers have their spiritual needs met, regardless of faith. Having Chaplain Shabazz here as a Muslim Chaplain provides the diversity in religious background that we can't provide internally."
There are five major religions supported by the chaplaincy: Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist, but over 200 religions are recognized. Chaplains can only perform services for their particular religion, but they can provide support for all Soldiers, regardless of their faith.
Howling with pride - Minnesota Service members honored by MN Timberwolves
Posted: 2017-04-14 04:25 PM
ST. PAUL, Minn. - For the third consecutive year, Minnesota service members were honored with on-court recognition and other VIP treatments as part of the Minnesota Timberwolves Heroes of the Pack Program.
"We are very appreciative for what the military does for us, and we wanted to give something back to honor the military," said Roger McCabe, who along with wife, Nancy, is a driving force behind the recognitions through the FastBreak Foundation and Roger & Nancy McCabe Foundation. "This is our way of doing it."
Having lived through the Vietnam War - and with Roger and Nancy both having parents who served - the two philanthropists decided a few years back to build upon existing recognition efforts already underway by the Timberwolves. And with that, recognitions that were typically happening at Target Center in November expanded to include Minnesota Service members from all branches at every home game - a total of 41 honorees per season.
Red Bulls move vehicles for partnership exercises
Posted: 2017-04-12 03:22 PM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Soldiers of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division wrapped up a week-long rail load operation Sunday at Camp Ripley in preparation for several upcoming international training exercises.
Vehicle crewmen from the 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry based in Moorhead, worked with railroad personnel from BNSF Railway to stage, load and secure their equipment in preparation for movement.
"It was a lot of work and lessons learned, but it was awesome seeing the completed product," said Sgt. 1st Class Brian Reiten, readiness non-commissioned officer for C Co., 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry.