Like this! Fort Leonard Wood drill sergeant answers questions from public live via Facebook
June 28, 2012
FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. -- With the popularity of social media, Fort Leonard Wood is using the Internet to bring one of the post's most knowledgeable assets directly to personal computers around the world -- drill sergeants.
"A lot of people communicate through social media and Facebook, so we have to change the way we communicate with Family members and even Soldiers," said Tiffany Wood, Fort Leonard Wood Public Affairs director.
Staff Sgt. Benjamin Facio, 2011 Fort Leonard Wood Drill Sergeant of the Year, spent an hour June 20 answering questions on Fort Leonard Wood's Facebook page.
"Most of the fans on Fort Leonard Wood's Facebook are Family members, friends or loved ones of Soldiers going though Basic Combat Training or One Station Unit Training here at Fort Leonard Wood," Wood said. "Most of our questions that we receive on the page are in regards to BCT and OSUT. They also have a lot of questions for drill sergeants, so we thought 'why not connect the two and have a drill sergeant directly answer all of their questions?'"
Facio said his answering questions will only help set up a future Soldier for success, as preparation is the key to any successful accomplishment.
"My favorite questions were the ones that future Soldiers asked for tips and pointers on what to do to prepare mentally and physically," Facio said.
Facio believes using technology to accomplish the Army's mission is a great idea.
"It is an excellent tool to use to put out information, and anything that we can do to help bridge the gap between family and Soldiers in the end will help our future Soldiers accomplish the mission," he said.
Facio didn't mind taking time out of his busy drill sergeant schedule to talk with people online, because this way he can reach more Soldiers than just those in his own unit.
"If I am able to give pointers or suggestions for future Soldiers to prepare physically and mentally, then in the end I am helping the success rate and the drill sergeants that will receive them," Facio said. "It is equally important for the Family members to be informed on the process that their future Soldier will be going through. Family members, whether it is a spouse, mother, father, etc., are the backbone to these young recruits. When the times get rough and they start getting homesick, letters, packages and phone calls really help keep their sons and daughters on track mentally."
Tia Owen's husband is currently in BCT. She was happy she had the opportunity to get some of her questions answered during the 'Ask a Drill Sergeant' event.
"I was happy for his reply. He was helpful," Owen said. "I think it is a great idea, gives people a chance to ask someone questions that has first-hand knowledge."
She hopes she can use 'Ask a Drill Sergeant' again. Owen said it helps the time pass faster for her and it is nice to have someone understand exactly what she's going through.
"It was and is a great idea, and I am glad I was able to use it," Owen said.
Facio also thought the event was a success.
"I am not sure how many questions I answered; it had to be at least 50. If I had some more time, then I think I could've answered some more," Facio said, "I think that this was a excellent idea. The interaction was good; it gave us the ability to have a conversation fast with immediate feedback."
Wood agreed. She was excited to host the first one with Facio.
"I hope our next one is even better," Wood said. "I think we will consider doing it again. I thought it was a success. We had a lot of positive feedback from those asking questions, and they thanked us for hosting the event."