By Debbie Gregory.
The Defense Department program called “This Is Your Military” is trying to bridge the military-civilian gap. The initiative is using the hashtag #KnowYourMil.
The program highlights the work of servicemembers, dispel myths about military service, and increase awareness among the American people.
Amber Smith, the deputy assistant to the secretary of defense for outreach, said the purpose of the program is to fix common misconceptions that those who have not served have regarding those who have.
“Some of the trends we found are a majority of young adults think that if you serve in the military, upon leaving the military you are going to have a psychological or an emotional issue or a physical injury,” said Smith.
Internal data indicates the civilian-military divide is expanding, Smith said. “That ultimately is a threat to the viability and the sustainability of the all-volunteer force, which in the long term has some national security risks.”
Smith added that in the mid-1990s, 40 percent of young adults had a direct connection to a veteran in their family. That number has dropped to 15 percent today.
“We really want to articulate a message of what the military is doing, tell that military story to a nonmilitary audience, and really create some interest for people who don’t necessarily care,” she added.
Outreach efforts will include coverage of sporting events and military engagements, as well as videos, photos, graphics and other products, Smith said.
The initiative will conduct outreach on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Each month, the initiative will highlight an aspect of military life such as military jobs and benefits, entrepreneurism and innovation, global missions and family life.
“I think the end goal on both sides is to feel like America is connected to the military and the military is connected to the Americans and that there is support on both side,” Smith said.