The US Army is going to great lengths to embrace and encourage the use of social media.  “We do not want to be a closed institution” said LTG Benjamin C. Freakley – US Army Accessions Command.  With that in mind, the Army has created online communities on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and MySpace.  They currently have more than 250,000 friends and followers – and this number is growing daily.

“It’s really transforming the way we look at recruiting, advertising, and communicating” added LTC Brian Tribus.  It’s allowing families to stay in touch during difficult and stressful times.  They can share photos, instant messages, and web cams.  It’s clear that this is a trend the Army continues to expand – especially as the technology further develops.  There are a number of potential uses that will improve communication and morale among our soldiers.

Army Strong Stories is an innovative program which allows deployed soldiers “to share their unfiltered perspective on daily life in the military through blog entries, photos and video.”   There is currently over 100 soldier bloggers participating in this program.

I think this is an incredibly functional and practical use of social media.  I’m anxious to see other branches of the armed forces adopt these tools as well.  I’ve added them to my blogroll and look forward to interacting with them.