Social Media and the Leader Subordinate Relationship

Wishful

"Land of the free, because of the brave..."
5-Year Member
So...I authored a journal article about the topic above in the Military Review. LTGs and MGs are looking at the feasibility of my proposals. I’m not saying they’re going to implement any/all of the proposals, but it definitely raised a lot of questions.QUOTE]

I am one of those in "the twilight of the baby boomer era" who is not on social media. If one were to "friend" a subordinate, wouldn't the subordinate then be able to monitor the military leader's postings as well? I don't understand how it works.
 

emwvmi01

5-Year Member
Good read and great work on getting it published by MR. I was curious what if any feedback you got from SJA on this one. I think the approach is a smart/common sense means to connect with Soldiers however I can also see where SJA might potentially balk at this limit. For up and coming officers it is also important to note that the military is primarily composted of people under 40. So you can be assured that PMS, FFR/BGOs and future Battalion/Company Commanders are undoubtedly doing personnel reconnaissance on your social media.
 

MabryPsyD

Dr. G.
5-Year Member
And congratulations on getting published!
Thanks. I don't think the boss is too worried about what the junior Soldiers are seeing on Facebook. Theoretically, the boss should have presence of mind not to put anything too damning on social media (one would hope).
Good read and great work on getting it published by MR. I was curious what if any feedback you got from SJA on this one. I think the approach is a smart/common sense means to connect with Soldiers however I can also see where SJA might potentially balk at this limit. For up and coming officers it is also important to note that the military is primarily composted of people under 40. So you can be assured that PMS, FFR/BGOs and future Battalion/Company Commanders are undoubtedly doing personnel reconnaissance on your social media.
SJA performed a legal review and found the proposal sound, BUT historically speaking, everything that is legal isn't ethical.
 

raimius

10-Year Member
Expect a LOT of push back on any systematic monitoring of social media. Yes, social media posts are considered "public," but many would consider monitoring social media accounts as essentially the same as having your commander follow you around with a video camera every time you left your house. In other words, it would be viewed as a gross violation of social decorum and it could be argued to be tiptoeing the line of military intelligence gathering against US citizens. If the DoD wants to monitor my social media, I'll be happy to give them viewing access to my 15 year old MySpace account...if it still exists.

A couple years back, it was suggested that supervisors conduct regular health and welfare inspections at all subordinate's residences (on and off base). Let's just say the predominant response I heard was to expect a "Get the #$%@ off my property" to any supervisor showing up after duty hours to inspect their subordinate's home. Most of the supervisors I talked to considered the idea to be downright stupid, and questioned the legality for anyone living off base (especially those with civilian spouses/roommates/etc).

I will not dispute the utility of social media. It is a great way to keep in contact with people, and interact at a personal level. If you really want to take care of your troops, you need to actually care and be a sociable person. People are not going to open up to the Additional Duty Twitter Monitor, but they might ask Joe for help.
 

THParent

Member
So the apparent utility of social media is to help fulfill "...the need for self-expression...".
I am indeed a fuddy-duddy, because to do that, I just talk to people.

I am not a fan of social media. It does seem that my view is in the minority, so these studies are good.
My take on the situation is that it is an incredible waste of time, and if more people were walking anachronisms (like me) they would be happier. :)

Back in my day, we could take our rifles to school and nobody ever started shooting.
Man, I'm old. When did that happen?
 

Wishful

"Land of the free, because of the brave..."
5-Year Member
The link below is a lecture about Lee's Calvary mid-level command structure & their deployment going into Gettysburg. While I cannot imagine how anyone could not find this interesting, ;) the point made is that you have to know your personnel 2 levels below you. For command efficiency & subordinate welfare, social media is "another tool in the toolbox" to accomplish this important task.

In LE, I reviewed the Absence & Tardiness Record for any patterns or trends. For ex: always going sick after vacation, losing ID Card after payday (poss. alcohol abuse), going sick after payday, etc. Not saying one had to place the member into Intervention in every instance, but this particular form (was a calendar for each member) provided a good snapshot for review. I assume the military has similar training for commanders as LE takes a lot of direction from military. Thinking social media, judiciously reviewed, can accomplish the same thing in real time.

 
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