Now that the
Department of Defense has permitted the use of social media for both private
and official purposes, the question becomes, can the military, the Army in
particular, obtain the benefits sought from social media use without seriously
compromising individual and operations security?

this question required an initial assessment of Army goals and objectives to
determine why the Army risked the use of social media, which revealed two
reasons immediately.

First, the
Army needed social media to communicate its inform and influence activities
more effectively. Second, social media was the primary means by which soldiers
maintained contact with their friends and family and, consequently, became a
significant element in maintaining soldier morale.

If the Army
did not need social media to distribute its inform message, it might have
avoided the difficulties created by the personal use of social media by
soldiers. Thus, the security risk posed by the use of social media cannot be
reduced to a simple enforcement of operations security rules.

soldiers who are not trained to avoid the disclosure of classified or sensitive
information will, through their ingrained habits, present a significant
security risk. Bottom line, all military personnel require training on
appropriate use of social media now.

The Document

Media and the U.S. Army: Maintaining a Balance, by MAJOR Todd A. Moe, May 2011

[49 Pages, 0.7MB]