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The Silence of Service: New York Guard’s Social Media Sites Taken Offline

Yesterday, we published our post titled “Strict Policies at New York Guard Lead to Loss of Veteran Guardsmen: Two Soldiers Share Their Story,” in which we sat down with two former New York Guard soldiers, Captain Getman and Sergeant First Class Mike, to discuss the current changes and issues occurring in the New York Guard. We covered several topics, including the shutdown of all New York Guard social media accounts, which were the primary channels through which we received and posted information about New York Guard activities on our website.

When we inquired about this change with the Public Affairs Office of the Division of Military & Naval Affairs (DMNA) (NY State Military HQ), we were told, “Public information efforts, such as the NY Guard social media pages, are part of the commander’s public affairs program. The leadership of the NY Guard determined that the organization did not have the staff or materials to sufficiently maintain a social media platform. The organization continues to provide public information efforts through the New York National Guard’s consolidated efforts to support the joint force.”

This explanation sharply contrasts with the statement from Captain Getman, who led the New York Guard Public Affairs Division. He shared that NYG Leadership decided to take down the website because it “was more trouble than its worth.” The DMNA’s claim that “the organization did not have the staff or materials to sufficiently maintain a social media platform” confuses us, as Captain Getman was both available and keen on his work. He told us he did not wish to end his work in the Public Affairs space, yet he was subsequently placed on the State Reserve List, which allows the DMNA to call up former service members in case of a statewide emergency.

We aim not to take sides but to provide you with the information we gathered from both the head of the New York Guard Public Affairs Department and the DMNA’s response.

However, we must express our concern that the complete removal of all New York Guard social media sites and the staff that supports them is an appalling solution. This will likely result in little to no news being provided from the New York Guard, decreasing motivation among the soldiers, drastically reducing enlistments and new officers joining the organization, and pushing the organization further into obscurity.

Based on the information we received from current and former members of the New York Guard, they have more than enough soldiers to form Public Affairs Teams to post on social media. Regarding the DMNA’s response that the New York Guard doesn’t have the “materials to sufficiently maintain a social media platform,” we completely disagree, as any smartphone, even those in the low-end range costing between $50-200, can take photos and post information on a Facebook social media page.

In conclusion, we are vehemently opposed to the decision to remove all New York Guard social media sites and to rely on the New York National Guard’s social media outlets to provide information about the New York Guard. We reviewed the New York Army National Guard site over the past few months since the New York Guard site was taken down and discovered no mention of New York Guard news. We believe that in the coming weeks, months, and possibly years, we will see little to no New York Guard news or missions of accomplishment, which is a great disservice to those serving in the New York Guard.

Special thank you to TMAR who bought us a coffee which helped develop this article. You can help buy us a coffee at – Buy Me a Coffee Site.

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