Social media plays an important role in our lives. It helps us learn, share experiences with others and stay connected to things we care about. However, there are security risks and regulations that Soldiers and their Families must be aware of before posting. It is important that all Soldiers know that when they are logged on to a social media platform, they still represent the U.S. Army. Soldiers using social media must abide by the UCMJ at all times, even when off duty.
The following are basic guidelines.
Do not use official titles or appear in uniform on social media because it implies official endorsement of content.
Do not imply that you are an official DoD spokesperson or publish official information on your personal account.
Do not comment, post, or link to material that violates UCMJ standards or basic rules of Soldier conduct.
Do not post negative comments about supervisors, work, official policies or sensitive or classified information.
Do not use social media such as Facebook or Twitter to contact Soldiers or conduct official business.
Do not use or respond to social media while on duty unless on break or specifically authorized by a supervisor.
The U.S. Army defines online conduct as the use of electronic communications in an official or personal capacity in a manner that is consistent with Army values and standards of conduct. IAW AR 600-20, para. 4-19a(5), "Online Misconduct" is the use of electronic communication to inflict harm. Some examples include but are not limited to: hazing, bullying, harassment, discriminatory harassment, stalking, retaliation or any other types of misconduct that undermines dignity and respect. The U.S. Army is a values-based organization where everyone is expected to treat all persons as they should be treated: with dignity and respect, as outlined in AR 600-20.
In addition, misusing online communications (online bullying), sending harassing or intimidating communications and images, or other online misconduct may violate existing federal laws under the U.S. Code and may also be a violation of the UCMJ. Regulation 600-20 authorizes commanders to punish Soldiers who are in violation of its direction, making failure to adhere to the Army's rules for online behavior a punishable offense under the UCMJ.
Understanding this dynamic is crucial because, as members of the Army profession and family, you are expected to live the Army Values, online and offline. Soldiers and their Families are personally responsible for all content they publish on social networking sites, blogs and other websites.
ALARACT 073/2022 - Army Social Media Policy
DODI 5400.17, Official Use of Social Media for Public Affairs Purposes, 12 Aug 2022
AR 360-1, The Army Public Affairs Program