Use proper Internet etiquette when posting information online|
by Capt. Kevin Coffman
U.S. Air Forces in Europe Public Affairs
6/26/2009 - RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany (AFNS) -- Keeping family and friends updated about recent adventures has never been easier for Airmen. With the numerous social networking sites available on the Internet, posting pictures and experiences can be a fun way to share details about life while away from home.
Blogging has also become a great way to tell stories, both personally and professionally.
In addition to sharing about travels, telling the military story is a great way to keep others informed and give the public a better understanding of life in the Air Force.
Recently, Gen. Roger A. Brady, the U.S. Air Forces in Europe commander, endorsed a memorandum about ways to stay in compliance when using social networking sites and to remind Airmen not to discuss sensitive information.
"This guidance reminds Airmen to be smart when using social media sites," said Lt. Col. Pamela Cook, the chief of public affairs strategy and assessments at USAFE. "We want them to tell their stories, but we also want them to be professional and use good judgment when doing so."
Being stationed overseas or in a deployed environment gives Airmen great opportunities to share what many family and friends outside the military don't get to see or experience.
"Feel free to tell your story, but good judgment requires that the same basic rules of engagement apply for any public forum, on or off the Internet," General Brady said in his memorandum to USAFE Airmen.
The memorandum reminds Airmen to practice good operational security and to conduct themselves professionally when posting or discussing information, including pictures and text, online.
"Essentially, Airmen need to remember operational security, be conscious to not post information that could compromise privacy and distinguish between official policy and personal opinion," Colonel Cook said.
The ability to post or share information online has become easier, but that doesn't negate the requirement to use proper Internet etiquette.
"Whether posting on official or personal Web sites, we're all responsible for our conduct and must stay alert to avoid harming our fellow warfighters, endangering the mission or speaking outside our authority or expertise," General Brady said in the memorandum.