We all use social media in our day to day life, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) uses it as well. And why not? Businesses use social media platforms worldwide to reach people by the masses, and let’s be honest; the military is one big business.
Both my husband and I are currently serving in the forces, and having access to social media has made it possible over countless deployments to keep in touch. We’re both in the navy, and up until 2017 when they introduced WIFI onboard HMC ships, we had access to spotty email and the odd phone call via satellite phone. But now, communications on board ship are much easier with access to Facebook and Facebook messenger.
Aside from being able to speak to family members, the CAF uses social media platforms for recruitment. From advertising the many job opportunities to being able to search information on a trade you may be interested in, you can simply type it in on YouTube and voila, you can see what it’s all about.
An article posted by the CDA Institute mentions that as of March 2019, the Canadian Government wanted to recruit 31,000 new members to the Reg Force all while trying to recruit minority groups and women. Using different platforms for recruitment is an easier way for civilians to reach out and ask questions instead of trying to navigate through the many different avenues on the Forces website.
Commanders of each branch (Navy, Army, Air Force) and even the Chief of Defence use social media to allow followers an inside look at daily life, deployments, special events and fundraisers. Just recently, the Navy shared via Facebook live, the laying of the new HMCS Protecteur’s keel. Something most would never have the chance to see, but thanks to social media you can! The Forces as a whole are very active on Twitter due to handles and hashtags, it’s easy to gain a large number of followers. The Royal Canadian Navy uses #WeTheNavy to share some pretty cool videos of life at sea and interviews with sailors.
But with all this glorious access to social media (yay), there are some rules for us members! In short form, anything that makes the military look bad, whether it be you saying something distasteful or rocking your uniform while doing something that would make most raise their eyebrows; don’t post it. Of course you’d be better off not doing it all because everyone has a phone nowadays. So even if you don’t post it, I can almost guarantee someone else will!
After talking to numerous people over my career, a lot have said the lack of communication options with family while deployed is a big reason why they wouldn’t join the forces. Now knowing that we’re not living in the dark ages, are you ready for a new adventure?
Tactical Social Media- How the CAF uses it
Tactical Social Media. #CAF #tacsocial