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It is no longer out of the ordinary for senior military leadership to use social media as an outlet to connect with their troops and the public. Admiral Mullen one of the leaders in the arena is followed by other leaders from across the branches at different levels and different missions.
Another group of leadership is taking active part in social media and that is the military spouses. Mrs. Schwartz, the spouse of General Schwartz, Chief of Staff of the Air Force is one of the latest to establish a facebook page as a place of discussion for spouses and those interested in Air Force family issues.
These outlets for discussion foster participation in an environment that seems to encourage candor and where real issues can emerge and questions can be answered. It is rather powerful to have a medium where those that are geographically separated can still connect and learn from each other in real time. It will be interesting to see as these platforms evolve if they will be able to aid in the large problem the military is facing with suicides. Individual tend to post warning signs and may even use one of these platforms as a cry for help.
Aside from potentially being able to help identify individuals that are suffering other solutions to problems may be able to be identified. While the jury is still out on how effective social media may be for the military it does have a potential of sell itself as an information gathering forum if nothing else.