Army Uses Facebook, Twitter to Recruit

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 2, 2009 11:19 AM CDT
Ray Odierno's Facebook page is seen in this screenshot.
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(Newser) – Uncle Sam wants you…to friend him on Facebook. Social networking sites have become a key part of the army’s recruitment process, the AP reports. Recruiters try to friend prospective soldiers on Facebook, while Gen. Ray Odierno updates his “fans” on the progress in Iraq. The sites have proven key in recruiting 18-to-24-year-olds, says one lieutenant general. “They live in a virtual world.”

The Army also boasts a website tricked out with video games and “virtual recruiter” video clips that answer common questions. It’s also careful to foster dialogue on its blog and twitter feed, leaving the negative comments alongside the positive ones. “Everyone has an opinion and it’s amazing that the Army is showing both sides,” said one 24-year-old reservist. “It can easily help (young people) decide if the Army culture is for them.”