20 January 2009

Dave Petraeus added you as a friend on Facebook

We need to confirm that you know General David Petraeus in order for you to be friends on Facebook...  

Yes, I was quite amused when I read Small Wars Journal this morning, and discovered that a recent article in CS Monitor indicated that senior US military leaders are now creating Facebook profiles in order to connect with junior Soldiers.  

General Bill Caldwell IV has thrown a sheep at you.  Throw a sheep back!

Now, on one hand, this is slightly amusing, as I remember there being a running gag on collegehumor.com regarding ones' parents joining Facebook, as well as a recent NY Times article entitled "omg my mom joined facebook".  The fact that generals might suddenly add me as their friend might have that same level of uneasiness.  I was also reminded of this time back in Honduras when some rather mischevious aviators created a Myspace profile for their battalion commander as a joke.   

"Just reminding everyone"

However, all joking aside, this is a great attempt to bridge a growing gap between generations, and more specifically, the growing gap between junior and senior officers in the US military.  With a junior officer corps increasingly connected through Facebook, it's about time the the senior leadership caught on and decided to tap into this network for effective engaged leadership.  Not to mention, it's an important tool in Fourth-Generation Warfare.  For example, a recent Facebook group entitled "One Million Strong Against the FARC" was able to rally over twelve million protesters against the Colombian FARC and caused massive desertions, a result that probably rivals the last twenty years (and billions of dollars) of US foreign and military aid to that country.  

Oh, by the way, in case the generals with Facebook pages are reading this, here's a bit of Facebook etiquitte:  If you "poke" someone, that means you want to have sex.  They don't really tell you that on Facebook, but it's true. So, yeah, don't use the "poke" feature.  SuperPoke is okay, albeit annoying with all the sheep-throwing, but plain poke is just a no-go.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I buy generals on facebook before I buy old SNCOs on facebook.