Does social media allow you to care now?


Maj. Kristi Beckma is the Chief of Social Media for European Command Public Affairs

So, based on my fellow blogger, Maj. Jim Gregory’s, last post on the relevancy of European Command, I’d like to take that one step further and put you on the spot, in a nice way of course!

It’s obvious EUCOM is relevant. We’ve been around for 57 years so we’re doing something right. We are a huge provider for NATO, an incredible organization that simply put, brings partner nations together under one umbrella to work world issues TOGETHER.

But, is EUCOM relevant to YOU? Do you care about what the more than 84,000 servicemembers and their families are doing over here, and most importantly if you don’t care, then why not?

I tell you what, I’m going to be honest here…I didn’t care about EUCOM prior to coming here and I’m in the U.S. military!

Of course I knew what EUCOM was and why it existed. For us military folks, (and it’s no different in the civilian sector in your corporations) no matter what your job is, you’ve got to understand where your cog (mission) fits into the machine (overall mission) and then you’ve got to understand how all those others cogs (the rest of the military) work together to make that machine run. So, yah, I knew about EUCOM, but I didn’t really care to read about EUCOM because I was too busy keeping up with my current mission.

I cared about the job I was in and not much else, whether it was working for Air Combat Command at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, or deploying to Joint Task Force Liberia, that was what I cared about. I didn’t “follow” EUCOM.

I know the plethora of information that goes out daily from the U.S. military is intense. But it’s because we are busy folks and we want the world to know all the great things we’re doing or trying to do. Why do we want the world to know? Because we work hard, dangit! We work so hard to do our part to make our world a better place to live and unfortunately that is a daunting task and it seems to get harder as we move further into the future.

At EUCOM alone, we work daily with our 51 partner nations who all have the same purpose. We all just want to live our lives in peace and make something of ourselves. And obviously as two, or rather 51 heads, are better than one, we are determined to work together to make a difference. But does anyone care?

Not sure if I’m making any sense here… I just think our lives get incredibly busy and 24 hours is not enough time to devote yourself to your current mission of YOUR job, YOUR family, YOUR life, and then take the time to care about other missions such as EUCOM.

Nowadays, because of the social media explosion and the tools available to communicate, I find myself following and reading about people and businesses that I wouldn’t otherwise care about. So, if I’ve changed my tune, does that mean that many others have as well?

Are my readers/communicators just going to be folks in Europe or folks who have military members stationed here? How much time do you have to devote to learning about the plethora missions out there? Are my readers just going to follow me when a crisis occurs or are they going to care now? Tell me what you think!

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Comments: 4

by Maj. Kristi Beckman on November 1, 2009 :

Hey Paul, Oh yah, have things changed dramatically since that fateful day! I can remember USAFE/EUCOM being much different back then. Seems like eons ago though. I don’t think we’ll every get back to those days which is why EUCOM is so much more relevant now. I’ll get with you soon on the .com issue. Thanks for the comment!

by LTC Paul Swiergosz on October 31, 2009 :

Kristi, nice post and nice site. Great to see you guys are embracing this. As you may remember, we used to wonder back in 2001(ish) about the relevancy of USAREUR/EUCOM when 9-11 happened. I think it's important to remind everyone that the world is a dangerous place and every command is relevant. After all, who would have thought CENTCOM and Afghanistan would be this high on our radar on 9-10... Another process question on your blog... I see it's hosted on a .com site. Did you have to apply for a waiver to operate an "official" military web presence on a .com domain. Our site ( is being threatened with being shut down by our CIO. By our antiquated regs (AR 25-1) you have to have a waiver to operate on the .com side of the house. Of course this reg was crafted by Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble and hasn't been updated to address social media - but never let it be said an OBE reg should stop you from doing something good and righteous... Best, Paul

by Maj. Kristi Beckman on October 30, 2009 :

Curtis, Thanks for the response! I'll do my best to keep everyone posted. Just keep reading!

by Curtis Roberts on October 30, 2009 :

Yes, I care. Social media allows me to reconnect with the European US culture I enjoyed during my family's two tour of duties in Germany. Following EUCOM and Mr. Rasmussen (NATO), helps me maintain the cooperative worldview I developed while overseas and support our troops, even now from the mountains of Virginia. Kudos to you for carving out the time to keep us apprised of EUCOM's hard work and accomplishments. TweetDeck makes it easy to track a variety of folks with a quick moment's review. Social media certainly makes the world much smaller and closer. Keep up the good work! (and let us know)

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