U.S. military public affairs officers around the world are anxiously waiting to see the Defense Department’s new social media policy. Defense Department officials plan to announce a “balanced social media policy” in the coming weeks … and we can’t wait to see the final copy.

Practitioners like me hope the new policy will allow airmen, soldiers and sailors social media access within reason, while providing structure and guidance. Social media tools offer tremendous opportunities for recruiting, building coalitions and educating global audiences. Isn’t it ironic … the most technologically-advanced air force in the world doesn’t allow its public affairs officers to “tweet” or recruit on official Air Force networks? Many savvy practitioners have already developed “work-arounds” using broadband wireless air cards and other devices to reach virtual communities, costing the Defense Department pennies compared to traditional media tactics.

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