MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Social media websites are one of the latest fads, and statistics prove they are here to stay. Countless organizations and groups have already embraced social media through various social networking and blogging sights such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
The Marine Corps has noticed the increased usage of social media websites and has now allowed service members and other Department of Defense personnel access to these sites, provided they abide by specific conditions.
According to the Marine Corps Administrative Message 365/10, Social Media Guidance – Unofficial Internet Posts, “Marines are encouraged to responsibly engage in unofficial Internet posts about the Marine Corps and Marine Corps-related topics. The Marine Corps performs a valuable service around the world every day and Marines are often in the best position to share the Marine Corps’ story with the domestic and foreign publics.”
The MARADMIN focuses on ensuring all Marines know that they represent the Marine Corps and they should always use their best judgment and to avoid inappropriate behavior that would bring discredit to the Marine Corps.
The order states, “This includes posting any defamatory, libelous, abusive, threatening, racially or ethnically hateful, or otherwise illegal content.”
The Corps has also made advances in social media communication by creating official Marine Corps websites where service members can post comments and leave messages for people to read.
“The Marine Corps now has official Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr accounts,” said Sgt. Kuande Hall, the social media chief for the Marine Corps, stationed at the Defense Media Agency in Washington D.C. “We want to be as transparent as possible and this helps to bridge the gap between community relations and the Marine Corps.”
The Marine Corps’ Facebook account, facebook.com/marines, has more than 110,000 people who have “liked” the site, and every day the number of followers increase. People are able to post messages and questions on the site. Marines can also take time to answer a variety of inquiries such as what recruit training will be like proper procedures for sending packages to deployed service members.
“We encourage Marines to interact and answer questions people may have, but at the same time, we ask them to remain tactful and remember they are Marines 24/7,” said Hall.
The Marine Corps also uses Twitter, which is a blogging site, to inform service members and civilians about what is going on in the Marine Corps.
It is randomly updated and contains links to stories, photos and other useful information. People who follow the Twitter link can be informed on new rules and regulations as well as links to social media guidelines.
Another popular destination, YouTube, has its very own “Marines” page. It is constantly updated with new commercials and general information about life in the Marine Corps. It presents a unique opportunity for people to see what Marines do and the type of training that is conducted.
The YouTube link features three videos in which Ultimate Fighting Championship fighters get to spend some time at the Martial Arts Center of Excellence.
Most of the Marine Corps’ social media sites offer opportunities for people to ask questions. Questions vary from: “What are the requirements to go to the (Martial Arts Center of Excellence)?” or “What advice do you guys have so I can prepare myself physically and mentally for boot camp?”
“We are encouraging Marines to interact because only they can say what it feels like to be an infantryman or Amtraker,” said Hall. “All we ask is they remember they are representing the Marine Corps and to maintain their dignity and respect.”