One of the many highlights during my overnight embark on the USS Nimitz this past Sunday was the opportunity to meet Rear Admiral John W. Miller, commander of the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group 11. I must confess I had no idea what an admiral’s responsibilities were before talking with him, but I soon learned he has one of the most important jobs at sea…commanding the fleet of ships that make up the strike group.
Admiral Miller is a very engaging man and spent an hour talking with our group about the Navy’s maritime strategies, the future of aircraft carrier, and of course, social media! In the video above, he shares some thoughts about the Navy’s use of social media and the challenges the military in general faces as it moves into the blogosphere without compromising national security. My shipmate Burt Lum asked the admiral about his personal use of social media tools and got quite a humorous response. While the admiral may not Twitter, I bet he’s got more than three friends on Facebook which he claims.
As the Marines ban the use of social media on its network, the Navy is opening up its doors and sharing its story with everyone who’s interested in listening. As a distinguished guest invited aboard the USS Nimitz (who is also on Twitter) to blog about my experiences, it’s clear the Navy is engaging in and executing one of the most unique social media campaigns today. It’s not everyday you get to land on, spend the night on, and takeoff from an aircraft carrier. And they want to you to tell the whole world about it.
But Admiral Miller raises a good question. “How much is too much?” when it comes to sharing information. He admits the challenge becomes educating your people to use communications responsibly, whether it’s email or social media tools. That’s not just a challenge in the military, but within public and private organizations as well. What I’m most impressed with is the Navy’s efforts to open up the conversation and share a side of its organization many will never see.
I will say one thing and that it is the goal of the U.S. Navy’s distinguished visitor program is to educate civilians like me about what they do for our country and share it with others. If you haven’t noticed yet, they have clearly succeeded with me!
Lot’s more to come about my time on the USS Nimitz. Stay tuned.