Facebook has launched an official United States Military Page designed to bring together resources and information to help those in the service, their families, and veterans stay connected and informed.
The Page, which has been live for about two weeks, features two interactive Give Thanks components where users can enter messages of thanks to troops and veterans and view the messages contributed by other users. A Career Resources component links to BranchOut and Military.com, two organizations that specialize in finding jobs for veterans. A CNN iReport component allowed users to share Memorial Day-related photos or videos through tagging prior to the November 11 holiday. Some of the messages recorded on the page where also shown to the news outlet.
Beyond that, the Page is pretty sparse in activity compared to other official Facebook Pages designed to facilitate community action — like the Facebook Safety Page launched in July of last year. This is partially due to the removal of the Discussion tab, leaving users only the Comment function on the Page’s Wall posts as a means to communicate. In contrast, Facebook Pages for branches of the military, like the U.S. Navy Page, show more activity through Twitter, YouTube, and Livestream apps.
As of a Pentagon decision made in February 2010, social networking sites like Facebook are an approved means of communication for service members of the U.S. military, as well as for public relations and recruiting activities. The catch is that commanders are permitted to “temporarily” cut off access to Facebook in the case of security concerns.