All social media content is an official communication, and therefore considered a Federal record. Records must be captured and maintained for each Army Social Media platform. A complete social media Federal record must have content, context, and structure, along with associated metadata. Click here for more information about archiving.

All accounts created and managed using federal government resources (including time, manpower and funds) to communicate the work of the Army must be registered.

DoDI 5400.17, section 4.1.b., directs official Army accounts to be registered on the Defense.gov registryand U.S. Digital Registry,   AR 360-1, chapter 8, directs official Army accounts to be registered on the Army's Social Media Directory.

A “verified” personal account on a social media platform does not constitute an official DoD account.

Accounts must be registered with the U.S. Digital Registry in order to initiate the verification process. First determine if the account needs to be verified. Accounts are only considered official when they are registered. Platform specific verification is not required. A “verified” personal account on a social media platform does not constitute an official DoD account.

Accounts registered with DoD do not need to display a “verified” status with the social media platform to be recognized by DoD as an official account.

You may request verification through the social media platform’s verification procedures and standards.

It is the authority to release official information of an organization to the public as delegated by the organization’s commander/head. The commander’s release authority is usually equal to his or her authority in other matters. Just because a commander has command and control of an installation in such matters as personnel, housing and operations, it doesn’t always mean the commander is authorized to release information about events that happen on or near the installation.

Yes. However, it must be approved by the commander and it still must follow DOD and U.S. Army requirements. You must ensure that all content and postings are reviewed and approved for public release by a release authority before posting. Please refer to requirements on the official use page. Without a releasing authority reviewing all content before it is published, it cannot qualify to be registered in the social media directory.

Report the incident to the Office of the Chief of Public Affairs Digital Media Division.

The platform may require additional information, such as:

  • A copy of a valid government-issued photo ID (a current driver's license or a passport) of the individual signing the statement.
  • A signed statement on official letterhead in the PDF file format, from this person with sufficient knowledge and authority over this matter, that includes all the following:
    1. A description of the individual's relationship to the account (including the authority to request a change in the person(s) who manage the account, as applicable).
    2. The name of the current person(s), who manage the account, as applicable.
    3. The relationship of the above person(s) to the account.
    4. An explanation of the request, and whether there has been a termination of the employment and/or business relationship with the named person(s), as applicable.
    5. The email address, or URL, associated with the account that is to be added as the new admin.
    6. A declaration that the information provided is true and accurate, for example: "I certify that the information provided is true and accurate", the statement must include similar language.

Once you've provided this information, the DMD POC will submit it to the social media platform liaison on your behalf. There may be follow-ups with additional requests for information or documentation to evaluate your request. Please remember providing the requested information doesn't guarantee that the platform will be able to fulfill your request.

Hiding and deleting user content should be done judiciously and be the exception. Managers should only consider these tactics to prevent the mistreatment of those engaging in their threads; the spread of inaccurate information, misinformation or disinformation; or to prevent scammers from leveraging Army accounts to steal money from others.

  • Things to consider before you delete or hide a comment:
    1. Examine the content.
    2. Evaluate it in context.
    3. Review the terms of service and the online community guidelines.
    4. Determine if the content constitutes an offense.
    5. Determine if the content requires a response.
    6. Will deleting the comment encourage additional posts?
    7. If the consensus between the PAO, account manager and/or team is to take action, then do so deliberatively and with good solid reasoning/justification.
  • You may consider hiding or deleting comments that:
    • Violate a law or the terms of service outlined on your page.
    • Appear to be from a scammer or contain spam.
    • Contain content non-topical to the thread.
    • Are nonsensical, irrelevant or extremely vulgar.
    • Present an operations or information security concern.
    • When it is determined that the content of the post does not meet the criteria to be considered a federal record.
  • Establish and publish a comment policy for consistent application.
  • Don’t feed the trolls. Provoking you and others is what they want. Ignore them.
  • Redirect the comments and reaction.
  • Comment on valuable comments.
  • Hide comments without value.
  • Report violations of platform community standards.
  • Course correction – by publishing comments, including facts, you can sometimes motivate the audience to course correct the troll and dissolve the situation.

Yes, but consider the following:

  • Any article or external links (.com, .org, anything not .mil or .gov) must be related to your platform’s communication objectives and organization.
  • Be careful not to implicitly endorse or appear to endorse. If you share from one news source, you must share articles from other reputable agencies.
  • No paywalls. Don’t use articles that force people to subscribe first.
  • Verify that the source is reliable and reputable.
  • Verify that the information on the article or website is accurate.

No, the only Army assets that are authorized to use money on social media ads are recruiting organizations and the Army Enterprise Marketing Office. Learn more.

No unless you meet the strict requirements such as written permission to use the content and more. Learn more.


Just like anything else, you need to feed it and care for it. Your social media platforms need constant attention.

  • Remember quality over quantity.
  • Understand your communication objectives, research your audience and make a plan!
  • Give people a reason to follow you. Be interesting, engaging.
  • It’s NOT just about you. Respect your audience and their interests.
  • Consistency and relevancy are vital.
  • Video is king.
  • It’s not a billboard. If you’re not engaging on your platforms then you’re wasting your time with social media.

The platform you use depends on the message you are trying to send to the audience you have selected. Social media platforms are tools. Research the best tool for the job! Consider:

  • Who is your audience? What are they interested in and where do they get information?
  • Budget, manpower and equipment.
  • Consistent content
  • Can you provide the level of engagement to make it successful?
  • How does the platform fit with the others you run?
  • Can you submit content to your higher headquarters?

Do not use, test or otherwise engage on new platforms for official use

Some social media and content management platforms currently approved for official use are:

  • Facebook, including Messenger and Pages
  • Flickr
  • Hootsuite
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • Reddit
  • Sprinklr
  • Tumblr
  • Twitter
  • YouTube

A complete list of approved applications can be found in the DoD Application Vetting Environment (DAVE) — CAC enabled. This system is a database for mobile applications and approval requests.

New platforms must be reviewed by DISA. Do not create official accounts on social media platforms that have not been approved for use. Review the DAVE system if you are unsure whether a platform is approved for official use.

TikTok is not approved for official use.

  • Audiences now expect leaders or influencers to be on social and directly engage with them.
  • Understand your leader’s communication objectives.
  • Schedule training sessions. They need to push the buttons!
  • Schedule time to help them post/engage.
  • Help them understand which platform is best for based on their communication goals. Not all platforms are needed.
  • Some leaders don’t need social media. Give them a voice on the organization’s platforms.

The best times to post are when your audience is active the most. Conduct an analysis to determine your peak audience activity times. Different types of content may perform better on different days and different times throughout the day.



OPSEC Level II is now known as “Operations Security Awareness for Military Members, DoD Employees, and Contractors.”

Contact your OPSEC Program manager or training coordinator to schedule training.


Please refer to the “Scams” section on how to report to each platform. For Facebook, please contact OCPA DMD to gain access to the media support portal. You must be the admin of your senior leader’s page.

U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID) receives hundreds of reports a month from individuals who have fallen victim to a scam perpetrated by a person impersonating a U.S. Soldier online. For more information, visit our “Scams” section.

Search this page


If you are experiencing difficulty with any of the following issues, here are some resources that may help.


There are many different types of online fraud and cybercrimes. U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID) receives hundreds of reports a month from individuals who have fallen victim to a scam perpetrated by a person impersonating a U.S. Soldier online.
Learn how to report a suspected scam


Soldiers, especially leaders, are prime targets for identity thieves who will use images posted online to create fake accounts. It is good practice to search sites regularly for impostors. Impostor accounts are violations of terms of use agreements.
Report an imposter social media account


Misusing online communications (online bullying), sending harassing or intimidating communications and images, or other online misconduct may violate existing federal laws under the U.S. Code and may also be a violation of the UCMJ. Regulation 600-20 authorizes commanders to punish Soldiers who are in violation of its direction, making failure to adhere to the Army's rules for online behavior a punishable offense under the UCMJ. There are mechanisms for reporting online misconduct.
Learn how to report misconduct.


First, contact the respective social media platform lead at the Office of the Chief of Public Affairs Digital Media Division. The DMD POC will contact the platform on your behalf.
See additional actions and safety guidance.

What PAOs, social media managers, and Soldiers need to know about DoDI 5400.17 CLICK TO LEARN MORE back to top