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When most of us think of Lady Gaga she isn’t the first artist that comes to mind as far as a popular entertainer of the troops. The fact that the above video featuring soldiers lip syncing to her latest hit got over 3 million views in a few days makes this story that much more interesting. An US Army Sergeant posted the video on his personal Facebook page and it went viral from there. This example shows the power of social media and how it has the ability to share a soldier’s story, good or bad, very quickly. The American public doesn’t get an intimate look at the soldiers serving through traditional news channels. Social media changes that and allows those that would most likely have no interaction with our troops to get a glimpse into their lives.
The US Army is seeing this example of social media as a positive one. Major Michelle Baldanza, a spokeswoman in Afghanistan for the division’s 4th Brigade Combat team had this to say: “The brigade command team is happy to see that they also still have a good sense of humor and that morale is high.”
While those that have a more rigid view on how the military should be represented may not be big fans of this video, should be able to agree that high morale amongst the troops is extremely important and seeing them in high spirits is uplifting. Arguments can also be made that seeing soldiers in a human light is a positive representation and important for the public to see. Regardless of the opinion, the fact that this message got out and did so quickly via the online social medium should make everyone think.
Those that are evangelists for the platform have more evidence on their side, while those that are weary of the platform need to seriously consider the potential damage it can do or all the good coverage they may be missing out on. While this video brings up a great discussion on how it falls under the new Department of Defense social media policy, it also provides great entertainment. Lady Gaga and her entourage should have seen the video by now. Since she has not done a USO tour yet, this makes it perfect timing. Considering she is the queen of social media in the entertainment world, it would be great to see her giving back to our troops and perhaps getting those soldiers on stage with her, talk about a morale lift!