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BizReport : Social Marketing : May 04, 2009

U.S. military turns to social tools to find tomorrow's soldiers

The U.S. military is reaching out to "tomorrow's soldiers" by involving themselves in the technology their targets are using to communicate and inform themselves - social networks and social messaging services.

by Helen Leggatt

army facebook logo.jpgAccording to Army spokeswoman Lindy Kyzer, the youngsters they are trying to recruit don't watch the evening news. Instead, they are getting their information from sites such as Facebook and Twitter, via their friends.

"They live in the virtual world," said Lt. Gen. Benjamin Freakley, who heads the Army command that oversees recruiting. "You could friend your recruiter, and then he could talk to your friends."

Earlier this year, the Army established the "Online Social Media Division" and its official Facebook Page was launched within the last week or so, so far attracting nearly 16,000 fans. It also has a website with videogames and a "virtual recruiter".

The Army isn't the only U.S. military force to arm themselves with social tools. The U.S. Air Force has a Facebook Page, Twitter feed and a blog and the Navy is experimenting with Twitter and social networks such as Facebook.

Tags: Air Force, Facebook, military, Navy, recruitment, social media, soldiers, Twitter, U.S. Army

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