Using Social Media To Tell The Army Story

This Army Live Blog post was submitted by Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell, IV, Commander of U.S. Army North (Fifth Army) and Senior Commander of Fort Sam Houston and Camp Bullis.

Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell, IV

Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell, IV assumed command of U.S. Army North (Fifth Army) on December 30, 2011.

Today, nearly three million men and women serve our country in uniform. Though that number may seem large, it’s actually less than one percent of the American population. Believe it or not, there are many Americans who have never even met a US service member. That means that there’s a large number of Americans who are unaware of the hard work, commitment, and sacrifice of our incredible Soldiers, Veterans, and their Families.Fortunately, there’s a powerful new technology to help us tell our Army story: social media. Many of our Soldiers are already adept at using social media; whether it be keeping in touch with friends on Facebook, sharing an interesting link with your friends on Twitter, or watching a funny video on Youtube. In fact, our Soldiers don’t just watch Youtube…some of them are talented Youtube stars in their own right!

It’s an incredible new tool for helping to tell our Army story, and I encourage all of our Soldiers to help share their Army story with the world, as long as they follow four simple rules.

  1. Only write/blog or talk about first-hand experiences.
  2. Do not use this new technology as a forum to air grievances. 
  3. Whatever you write or discuss must be attributable to you. 
  4. Always tell the truth, and if you do not know the answer just state that.

When we all follow these four simple rules, the results are amazing. Last year, our Army Chief of Staff, General Raymond Odierno, finalized his reading list based partly on responses posted here on the Army Live blog. Our Soldiers regularly post lessons learned in military forums like Small Wars Journal. Our Soldiers even rebut Taliban propaganda on platforms such as Twitter in real time.

So whether you’re a fan of Facebook or Twitter, Flickr or Youtube, Pinterest or Google Plus, I encourage you to get out there and help tell the amazing story, your story, of the US Army.

Strength of the Nation!

For more ways to help tell the Army Story, please see LTG Caldwell’s remarks at the AUSA Region IV Breakfast during last week’s AUSA 2012 Convention.