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NEWS | Feb. 5, 2010

AETC command chief reaches Airmen through social networking

By Capt. Rose Richeson Air Education and Training Command Public Affairs

The top enlisted Airman of Air Education and Training Command joined the digital environment Jan. 28 launching a business page on Facebook targeting tech savvy Airmen in a different communication medium.

Chief Master Sgt. Robert Tappana maintains the page on the go using his cell phone to post updated information and activities related to recruitment, training and education.

"Most of what I will post is the same as what AETC leadership already disseminates in other forums," Chief Tappana said. "This will be another way for our Airmen to stay up-to-date and also allow senior leaders to gather comments from the field on key issues."

The chief's goal is to engage "fans" of the site in two-way communication to spread information quickly, share ideas for improvement, and continue networking with those who have a vested interest in the AETC mission. Department of Defense employees, potential recruits, families and community members will all have access to the site.

With more than 315 million users signed on to the social networking site, the U.S. leads the globe as Facebook's largest population of about 94 million.

During a Jan. 22 Social Media for Defense and Government event in Vienna, Va., Gen. Craig R. McKinley, National Guard Bureau chief, spoke to nearly 50 government professionals on the benefits of engaging social media.

"How we bridge this and how we use the tools of social media I think are vitally important to all of us as citizens of the United States," General McKinley said. "I use it to stress important messages to the National Guard community."

The Army National Guard's Facebook group currently hosts 215,000 fans, the third largest in the nation.

"Facebook's mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected," according to the company's Web site. "Millions of people use Facebook everyday to keep up with friends, upload an unlimited number of photos, share links and videos, and learn more about the people they meet."

To access the command chief's page, visit and search AETC Command Chief Master Sergeant. In order to comment on a post or interact with site, visitors must be logged in.