Social Media: Tactics for tact

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Emmeline James
  • 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Social media allows us to connect to our friends, family and even strangers, all across the world. We post photos of our loved ones, our wins and losses, photos of our family, but military personnel have additional guidelines when it comes to their social media presence.

Knowing the rules and knowing what can be posted is critical both at home and at work.

The guidance for social media usage for Air Force and Space Force personnel, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve members and civilian employees was recently changed and consolidated into Air Force Instruction 35-101, paragraph 1.15.2.

Below are some of the new changes and additional best practices.


  • Make it clear you are speaking for yourself and not on behalf of the Air Force
  • Avoid offensive/inappropriate behavior that could bring discredit upon the Air Force or you as a member of the Air Force, or that would otherwise be harmful to good order and discipline, respect for authority, unit cohesion, morale, mission accomplishment, etc.
  • Repost publicly released information from official sources
  • Friend, follow and like a political candidate Identify a political affiliation on a personal social media profile


  • Post any defamatory, libelous, vulgar, obscene, abusive, profane, threatening, hateful, racially, ethnically or otherwise offensive or illegal information or material that violates the Uniformed Code of Military Justice or Service Regulation (examples include contempt for public officials)
  • Post any information or other material protected by copyright without the permission of the copyright owner
  • Post any non-public information this includes but not limited to classified or sensitive information, unless such release is a protected disclosure per an appropriate whistleblower statute
  • Share or retweet comments from the account of a political party or candidate
  • Use your Air Force or Space Force association, official title or position to promote, endorse or benefit any one’s own or another’s commercial interests, or non- profit groups based solely on religious or political affiliations, in accordance with the Joint Ethics Regulation, and AFI 1-1
  • Make any commitment to provide official Air Force or Space Force information to any non-DoD member or agency, including news media, without first coordinating with public affairs
  • Suggest or ask anyone to make financial contributions whether on- or off-duty and whether or not using an alias
  • Link to the political contribution page of any partisan group, or like, share or retweet a solicitation, including an invitation to a fundraising event
  • Engage in political activity on an account that is used for official business

By upholding the social media standards we can ensure the integrity of the Air Force and ourselves.

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