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Commandant will answer Marines' 'Reawakening' questions in new social media project

Feb. 25, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
Gen. Jim Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps, speaks with Marine noncommissioned officers from 1st Marine Logistics Group and 1st Marine Headquarters Group aboard Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton, Calif., in November. The commandant is inviting Marines to ask him, via social media, any questions they may have about the 'Reawakening' campaign.
Gen. Jim Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps, speaks with Marine noncommissioned officers from 1st Marine Logistics Group and 1st Marine Headquarters Group aboard Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton, Calif., in November. The commandant is inviting Marines to ask him, via social media, any questions they may have about the 'Reawakening' campaign. (Sgt. Mallory S. VanderSchans / Marine Corps)
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Ask CMC (Sgt. Mallory S. VanderSchans / Marine Corps)

Got a question about recent efforts to tighten Marine Corps discipline and reinforce military standards in garrison? Tweet it out, Facebook it, or even film yourself asking it via YouTube, and you just might get a personal answer, via video, from Gen. Jim Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps.

The Marines launched their #AskCMC social media project Monday, publishing messages on the Corps’ official Facebook and Twitter pages.

“Marines, the Commandant of the Marine Corps wants to hear your questions about the Reawakening,” according to the message on Facebook. “Ask him anything on the subject. He’s going to answer the top questions in a follow-up video.”

The responses rolled in — nearly 140 Facebook questions and comments and at least 15 Twitter replies within the first 24 hours.

Officials are saying little about the new effort: Amos’ spokesman Lt. Col. David Nevers and Marine Corps public affairs officers did not immediately respond to emailed inquiries about the new project. It’s the latest in a series of initiatives designed to get Marines to engage with the “Reawakening,” Amos’ campaign aimed at tackling high-profile discipline issues — drunken driving, hazing, sexual assault, and more — by promoting greater accountability and higher standards in barracks life.

So far, the Reawakening has included Amos’ tour of Marine bases with Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Micheal Barrett to hold town hall meetings with noncomissioned officers, and the dissemination of motivational posters reading “The Reawakening: What have you done to be a better Marine today?”

Officials said months ago that a video component could be introduced as part of the effort, and on Tuesday the Corps posted the first in a series of short films highlighting the actions Marines — in this case an NCO who demonstrated “24/7 ... engaged, concerned leadership,” said Amos in a voice-over.

There has been grumbling in some quarters about the Reawakening effort and especially “the fight to win the barracks” by putting more Marines on fire watch, arming NCOs and insisting on tighter adherence to traditional standards. A number of questions posted on Facebook belittled the Reawakening effort or disparaged Amos, who has spearheaded some unpopular changes, notably dispensing with rolled sleeves on camouflage utilities.

But even the most critical comments remain on the page undeleted, and Marine officials seem determined to take the heat.

“I feel sorry for whoever has to go through the questions,” one Facebook commenter wrote.

“No need to feel sorry for us,” an administrator of the official account replied. “For the people that are taking this seriously, this is important. This is a chance for Marines to have dialogue with the CMC.”

Officials have not said when Amos will post a response video or how many questions he plans to answer.

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