Command communication: dynamic, evolving

  • Published
  • By Staff Reports
  • 90th Missile Wing Public Affairs
Air Force Global Strike Command's active social media program aims to reach Airmen where they live and work, according to command officials, who noted this is the primary communication method for many people today.

The command has made strides to create a social media presence and has empowered the wings to do the same, tailoring each platform to their own unique communities and mission.

"To effectively engage with Airmen, we must at least understand the way they communicate," said Chief Master Sgt. Brian Hornback, AFGSC command chief. "Social media not only serves as a way to communicate internally with our Airmen, but also as a means to tell the story of our Airmen to external audiences who are actively engaged in social networks themselves."

F. E. Warren Air Force Base has its own Web site,, as well as a Facebook page,; Twitter feed, @FEWarren; and YouTube channel,, where up-to-date news and media from around the base can be found.

In his book Socialnomics, Erik Qualman, keynote speaker and professor, points out that 96 percent of millennials - typically categorized as individuals born from 1981 to 2000 - have joined a social network. This is important to Air Force communicators because 38% of the service is below the age of 26, as stated in a 2011 demographics report published by Air Force Personnel Center.

Key points from official Air Force Guidance sent out from the Air Force Public Affairs Agency, "Navigating the Social Network," mention that in addition to staying connected with family and friends, social media is a great tool for sharing the Air Force story and the stories of Airmen with the general public.

Although not the only tool in a communicator's toolbox, social media can help bridge the gap for people who aren't in close proximity to an installation or know very little about the military.

Many are calling social media a fundamental shift in the way we communicate.

"We don't have a choice on whether we do social media," Qualman said. "The question is how well we do it."

AF Global Strike Command social media success stories

Lt. Gen. James Kowalski, AFGSC Commander (@AFGSC_CC), and Chief Master Sgt. Brian Hornback, AFGSC Command Chief (@StrykeChief), have been active on Twitter since 2011. Both use their accounts as representatives of the Command and the Air Force, posting mission and Airmen-related content, while balancing personal interests in their Twitter content. @AFGSC_CC and @StrykeChief have enjoyed increased followership and engagement on their Twitter accounts.

@AFGSC_CC has more than 720 followers, including the CSAF, members of the media, industry leaders and other Air Force and government leaders. Kowalski has been able to respond directly to opinion leaders on subjects such as the nuclear enterprise and current fiscal conditions. Hornback tweets multiple times per day focusing on Airmen, command heritage and leadership, with more than 380 followers, including current and former Chief Master Sergeants of the Air Force, industry partners and other joint force enlisted and officers.

Key Tips for Social Media Success:

· Although personal and professional social media profiles are positively viewed by the Air Force, military members are 24/7 representatives of their service and should always remember they're always on the record and must represent core values; social media interactions are subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
· Consider how a post can be interpreted by the public.
· Practice OPSEC when engaging on personal or professional social networks.
· For leaders, listen to your followers when they have questions, grievances or suggestions and engage accordingly, and also acknowledge their support.
· Social media is considered an informal, conversational medium, so remember your audience and don't get wrapped around technical jargon; this is an opportunity to connect with others on a personal level and conversation should not be stifled, unless inappropriate or derogatory; replace error with fact, not argument.
· Once posted, the content is out on the internet forever, even if you decide to delete it.

Airmen assigned to AFGSC wings and organizations with social media accounts are encouraged to follow AFGSC senior leaders for top-level views and insight into leadership and command news. For up-to-date command, wing and tenant unit information, visit the following social media platforms.

Air Force Global Strike Command Social Media Platforms
Twitter: @AFGlobalStrike
YouTube Channel:

Lt. Gen. Jim Kowalski, AFGSC commander

Chief Master Sgt. Brian Hornback, AFGSC command chief

Maj. Gen. Stephen Wilson, 8th Air Force command

Chief Master Sgt. Terry B. West, 8th Air Force command chief

Barksdale Air Force Base Social Media Platforms
Twitter: @2ndBombWing
YouTube Channel:

 F. E. Warren AFB Social Media Platforms
Twitter: @FEWarren
YouTube Channel:

Malmstrom AFB Social Media Platforms
Twitter: @341MissileWing

Minot AFB Social Media Platforms
Twitter: @MAFBPA
YouTube Channel:

5th Bomb Wing Command Chief, CMSgt. Kevin J. Jurgella

Whiteman AFB Social Media Platforms
Whiteman Air Force Base;
Twitter: @WhitemanSpirit

 509th BW/CC Facebook:

576th Flight Test Squadron, Vandenberg AFB, Calif. Social Media Platforms (maintained by 30th Space Wing Public Affairs)
Twitter: @30thSpaceWing
YouTube Channel:

625th Strategic Operations Squadron, Offutt AFB, Neb. Social Media Platforms (maintained by U.S. Strategic Command Public Affairs)
Twitter: @US_Stratcom
YouTube Channel: