Tag Archives: social media

Think before you act: it only takes a second for your actions to go viral

By Christa D’Andrea
Air Force Recruiting Service Public Affairs

Have you ever done something you wish you could take back? Said something mean … wrote something inappropriate … behaved in a way that was disrespectful? I’m sure you have or you wouldn’t be human.

However, in today’s society some of these behaviors never go away, even if you tried to delete them. They are documented in Facebook status updates, Instagram photos, Vine videos and on a number of other social media sites. And it only takes a second for your documented actions to go viral.

You may know a few of our fellow Airmen (and Soldiers) recently made news headlines for all the wrong reasons. Within the last few weeks photos that were taken several years ago popped up on a number of official Air Force Facebook pages, including ours. These photos show Airmen acting in a way that is utterly disrespectful and is not consistent with the Air Force’s core values.

There is no need to perpetuate the situation by describing the photos to you, but as you can imagine, one photo of one Airman can taint the American public’s view on the Air Force and the type of people we employ, as a whole.

As an Airman, you have the duty to be an ambassador for the U.S. Air Force; therefore, you must always be cognizant of your actions — in and out of uniform.

There is no margin for error in today’s digital world where everyone has a camera and a video recording device in the palm of their hands. Air Force Instruction 1-1, “Air Force Standards,” outlines what your responsibilities and standards of conduct are as an Airman. It also outlines the responsible use of social media and how it applies professionally and personally. Every Airman should be acutely aware of this AFI and its contents. When everything is laid out in front of you, there are no excuses about not knowing what you can and cannot do on social media.

Unfortunately, there are still some individuals who don’t stop and think before they act. For those in the news recently, something they may have found funny in the moment is now haunting them. And in one case, there were multiple people in the situation, and not one person thought to stop and think about the consequences of what they were about to do. The result — their images as Airmen are forever corrupted.

Social media is not the enemy. It’s actually a fantastic venue to inspire and talk to others about what the Air Force has to offer, what it’s like to be part of something bigger than yourself, and what an honor it is to be an Airman. In your personal life, it’s a lifeline to friends near and far.

You, in fact, can be your own worst enemy. Don’t become the subject of the next viral photo or video. Hold on to your personal self-worth and live by the Air Force’s core values daily.

Be a great Airman first and ensure the Air Force image — and your image — always mirror the core values.

Thanksgiving…Air Force Style

By The Air Force Public Affairs Agency Social Media Team

If you’re reading this blog post, chances are that you might not have a recipe plan for tomorrow’s Thanksgiving meal, and you need some help from us. It could also be that you’re just curious to see if the social media team knows how to cook. Try our recipes or submit your own in the comments. We’re particularly interested in seeing your unconventional recipes– you know, things you’ve picked up on all those trips and assignments the Air Force has sent you on. Enjoy, and Happy Thanksgiving!

The BEST Caramel Apple Pie
Submitted by 1st Lt. Victoria Hight, social media deputy
Caramel apple pie
6 cups apples (about 6 medium apples, I typically use Granny Smith)
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp heavy cream or sweetened condensed milk
2 Tbsp butter
Store-bought pie dough, or make your own. You’ll need a top and bottom.
1/2 cup unwrapped caramel candies or store bought caramel apple dip
Lemon juice (optional)
1 egg white, beaten (optional)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Follow directions to unwrap and prepare store bought pie dough, or make your own. Place bottom half in an 8 or 9 inch pie pan. Peel and slice apples. Be sure to cut out any seeds/core materials. You may sprinkle them with lemon juice to prevent browning if necessary. Combine dry ingredients in large bowl and add apples. Toss to mix. Add vanilla.

Melt butter in heavy skillet with caramel dip or melted candies (follow package instructions to heat in microwave) and cream. Add to apple mixture and carefully place in pie pan. Cover with top crust, ensuring you seal the top and bottom edges together. You can run the tines of a fork over it to secure it if desired. Cut four small slits in the top crust to allow pie to vent while baking. Brush with beaten egg white or a small amount of water and sprinkle with a little white sugar (brown sugar or cinnamon will burn). Bake 40 min or until golden brown and bubbly. Cool slightly before serving to allow the juices to settle.

Green Bean Casserole
Submitted by Staff Sgt. Jarrod Chavana, social media specialist
1 (10 3/4 oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
3/4 cup milk
1/8 tsp black pepper (or white pepper)
4 cups cut green beans (use 2 14-1/2 oz. cans OR 2 9 oz. pkgs. thawed frozen OR 1 ¼ lbs. fresh green beans)–use cans
– 1 1/3 cups French fried onions
Mix soup, milk and pepper in a 1 1/2-qt. baking dish. Stir in beans and 2/3 cup French fried onions. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until hot. Stir. Top with remaining 2/3 cup onions. Bake 5 minutes or until onions are golden.

Pumpkin Cookies and Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting
Submitted by 2nd Lt. Meredith Hein, 24th Air Force public affairs deputy
Pumpkin cookies
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup softened butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Cream the butter and sugar. Add pumpkin, egg and vanilla. Mix in the dry goods. Drop on parchment paper by the tablespoon. Bake 15-20 minutes.

Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting
1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
1/2 cup cream cheese (room temperature)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
2-3 cups powdered sugar
Cream butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add vanilla and cinnamon, then slowly add enough powdered sugar to make a thicker consistency. The frosting will be runny, but delicious.
Suggested uses: fruit cake, bundt cake, cinnamon rolls and bread.

Mexican Hot Chocolate
Submitted by Tanya Schusler, chief of social media
2 tbsp water
2 Mexican hot chocolate bricks
1 or 2 cinnamon sticks
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbsp light brown sugar or piloncillo
5-6 oz. can evaporated milk
3 cups milk or eggnog (or combination of regular milk and eggnog, depending on preference)
Dissolve chocolate in water over low to medium heat stirring constantly. Add cinnamon sticks. Stir in vanilla extract. Add both milks and sugar. Whisk ingredients together over medium heat making sure they don’t boil. Heat for about 3-5 minutes or to desired temperature. For frothy hot chocolate, whisk with a molinillo. Pour into mugs and enjoy with pastries, buttered bread or Mexican pan dulce.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie
Submitted by Staff Sgt. Jarrod Chavana, social media specialist
1 tub gluten free pie and pastry dough
1 15oz can of pumpkin
1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 large eggs, beaten
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Knead one half of dough until no longer crumbly. Flatten dough into a disc, place between two pieces of parchment or wax paper. Roll into a circle 1 1/2 inches larger then an upside down pie plate. Place into 9-inch pie plate. Set aside.

Mix salt, cinnamon, ground ginger and ground cloves in a small bowl. Pour pumpkin and sweetened condensed milk into a large bowl. Add spices and beaten eggs. Mix by hand until fully mixed together. Pour into prepared pie shell.

Place into preheated 425 degree F oven. Bake for 15 minutes, reduce temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for 40-50 minutes or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 2 hours. Serve warm or refridgerated, top with whipped cream or whipped topping.

No Bake Cookies
Submitted by Staff Sgt. Jarrod Chavana, social media specialist
2 cups sugar
4 tbsp cocoa
1 stick butter
1/2 cup milk
1 cup peanut butter
1 tbsp vanilla
3 cups oatmeal
Waxed paper
In a heavy saucepan bring to a boil, the sugar, cocoa, butter and milk. Let boil for 1 minute then add peanut butter, vanilla and oatmeal. On a sheet of waxed paper, drop mixture by the teaspoonfuls, until cooled and hardened.

Peanut Butter Cookies
Submitted by Staff Sgt. Jarrod Chavana, social media specialist
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix all ingredients together. Using a teaspoon, scoop and roll into a 1-inch ball. With a fork, press down creating a checker board pattern. Bake for 8-12 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

Candied Yams
Submitted by Staff Sgt. Jarrod Chavana, social media specialist
2 29oz cans yams
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup pecan pieces
1-2 cups marshmallows
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8×8 or similar sized round baking dish. In a large bowl, mix brown sugar, syrup and cinnamon. Added UNDRAINED yams, mix well. Pour into greased dish. Sprinkle pecan pieces evenly over yams. Bake for 20 minutes, mix and top with marshmallows. Bake an additional 5-10 minutes or until marshmallows are puffy and slightly browned.

One million thank yous for one million fans

Airmen hugs his 20 month old daughter before deployment








By Airman 1st Class Krystal Tomlin
Air Force Public Affairs Agency

The U.S. Air Force Facebook page recently reached one million likes. We, here at the Air Force Public Affairs Agency, are really excited about reaching this milestone. We’ve been counting down for weeks.

Why is this number so important to us? To tell you the truth, there isn’t much difference between 999,999 and 1,000,000. We aren’t celebrating our millionth fan — we’re celebrating our first fan, our hundredth fan, our millionth fan and everyone in between.

U.S. Airman participates in women's shura in Afghanistan









As an Air Force public affairs specialist, my job is to tell the Air Force story. I want to help every U.S. citizen understand our mission so they can make an educated decision about supporting us. I write stories about the wonderful things my fellow Airmen are doing. These stories help to put a face with the uniform that sacrifices for freedom. These stories also help servicemembers’ families understand the important work that takes their loved ones away from them. I tell the good, the bad and the ugly. I’ll keep telling the Air Force story, because I believe in it.

I believe the Air Force plays a vital role in stifling global threats to freedom and human rights. I have no doubt most people in the Air Force are here to serve the public in an effort to make their communities and the world a better place. I believe the rebuilding efforts and the humanitarian missions we take part in are a reflection of those efforts.

Yokota Airmen deliver school supplies to Indonesian school

This is why one million fans is worth celebrating. It’s one million people who can see the Air Force through my eyes. One million people who are learning about the Airmen who attended a women’s shura in Afghanistan or provided school supplies for kids in Indonesia. More people will understand the resilient military kids and spouses who sacrifice in support of the men and women who love America and freedom so much they took an oath to defend the Constitution at all costs.

Thank you a million times. Thank each and every one of you for supporting my fellow Airmen every day. Thank you for telling our stories to your friends and family. Thank you for trusting us with your freedom.

Photo 1: U.S. Air Force Capt. James Salazar hugs his 20-month-old daughter, Elizabeth, prior to the 15th Airlift Squadron’s departure Aug. 27, 2008 at Charleston Air Force Base, S.C. Captain Tarkowski is assigned to the 15th AS. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Timothy Taylor)

Photo 2: Indonesian schoolchildren receive school supplies and sports equipment from Airmen during a goodwill visit to an elementary school in Binguang district, Indonesia, as part of Cope West 11. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Raymond Geoffroy)

Photo 3: First Lt. Emily Chilson interacts with the girls April 25, 2011, in Urgun, Afghanistan, during the first women’s shura. Lieutenant Chilson is the Paktika Provincial Reconstruction Team public affairs officer and female engagement team member. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Stacia Zachary)

Hold the Line: We live in a fishbowl

by Chief Master Sgt. Cynthia M. Solomito
AFGLSC Command Chief

Have you ever walked through a store parking lot in uniform and had someone stop you to say, “Thank you for your service”? Have you walked through the airport in uniform while deploying and had other travelers stop and shake your hand? As military members we represent our units, our service and each other. Military members stand out in a crowd.

One day I experienced a different situation. I was driving to work and stopped at the local gas station to get gas. As I was standing by my SUV at the pumps, I saw a car pull into a parking spot by the store. An Airman jumped out of a car with just his t-shirt and ABU pants, no shirt and no hat. Before I could do anything, he came out with a cup of coffee and package of cigarettes, jumped in his car and took off. As fate would have it, he had a pretty recognizable car so I asked the first sergeants if any of them knew the Airman. He was attending Airman Leadership School. My plan was to stop by ALS and just talk to him for minute. It’s funny how we know when we have done something wrong (what is the definition of integrity?) because as soon as he saw me he knew what I was going to say. The conversation was short and I asked one question: why? Does the answer really matter? He knew it was wrong and made the choice to disregard our dress and appearance standards. Some Airmen would turn their head and not address the issue. Do two wrongs make a right?

I believe we live in a fishbowl and our behavior is watched where ever we go. Our country places high standards on the men and women of the United States military and they expect us to be above reproach at all times. You never know who is looking. Let’s face it — with technological advancements over the past years, nothing is secret. Look at the YouTube videos, cell phone pictures and Facebook conversations that find their way into the media. The military has been in the news quite a lot the past year with our people displaying some questionable behaviors. One bad act can completely ruin our image and overshadow all the wonderful things our men and women have accomplished. Are we ready to face the consequences of our actions?

So what is my point? We are an all volunteer force; no one can make us enlist. When we are at basic military training we learn standards and are taught the difference between acceptable and unacceptable behavior. When we have doubts, we even have an Airmen’s Owner’s Manual, otherwise known as AFI 36-2618, The Enlisted Force Structure. Beyond what we have been taught we need to do the right thing and hold the line. Ask yourself, “Would my actions make my mother, father, sister, brother, spouse or fellow Airmen happy?”

Week in Photos, Feb. 17, 2012

By Airman 1st Class Christopher Gere
Air Force Public Affairs Agency

USAF firefightersIt’s never good news when you need firefighters to show up, but it always feels good when you see them. Start your weekend off by looking back with the Air Force Week in Photos.

Photo: U.S. Air Force firefighters from the 11th Civil Engineer Squadron practice fire suppression tactics in a live-fire training building Feb. 3, 2012, at Joint Base Andrews, Md. The firefighters regularly perform drills to stay proficient. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Perry Aston)