Model Modern Military Officer

Recently we wrote on Joint Forces commander Marine Gen Jim “I Like Brawlin’” Mattis and his quest for … retirement? Commandant? We mentioned Mattis’ anemic Facebook page and noted that it appeared he was recycling some of his better one-liners. Our friends at Joint Forces Command were kind enough to point out that The Brawler does not have a Facebook site. Any such page is spawn of his fans.

Fans? As in groupies? Man crushers? Brawlerphiles? (as offered by one reader)

While the site remains woeful, the baby brawlers clamor, “Commandant,” eager for Mattis to pick up the Corps’ top spot. Fans share their past and where they served with him. It’s like he’s rock star.

Is this common for flag officers?

We decided to check out the Facebook sites of the stars and found – one. Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has a significant presence. Mullen’s Facebook page is listed as an official government entity . It appears he and his staff share posting duty. It works. And he’s not limited to the questionable Facebook. Want to follow him on Twitter? Here are some of the ways you can Get More Mike: Blog (the Chairman’s Corner); Flickr, Joint Staff Photos; You Tube, The Chairman’s Channel. Get this, he’s on iTunes- the CJCS podcast.

We’re exhausted just looking at the list. Remember when the Navy looked at bringing back the dress Khaki uniform? We don’t recall Chief of Naval Operations Gary Roughead donning the threads. It was Mullen who dashingly sported the suit, even at press conferences.

Going off on another tangent, Mullen’s blitzkrieg has captivated some in the business world. According to a blurb in USA Today, Fast Company, an uber-hip business magazine, pegs Mullen as the model for the modern military officer – “marketer in chief.” They note his tweeting ability and eagerness to learn from Wall Street moguls. He looks outside DoD to see where DoD needs to be. We were told by one of his Naval Academy classmates that Mullen is the last ’68 grad on active duty. He’s coming up on 42 years’ service—a life time for many, and he’s still pushing.

So Mullen is the master communicator, comfortable regardless of medium. Maybe he has a few pointers for the demi-stars. Maybe some special advice for Mattis? A tale of two officers?

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