Pentagon chief joins Facebook

Pentagon chief joins Facebook

Pentagon chief Ash Carter became the first Defense secretary to launch a public page on Facebook on Friday.

His first post was a picture of him shaking hands with a young Marine on a U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey flying over the Strait of Malacca as part of an around-the-world trip to visit allies, partners and service members.

“I am launching this page today, after my first 100 days in office, so that I can highlight all the great things our people do and talk to you about the force of the future,” he wrote in the post. “Let's start the conversation.”

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In a news release, the Department of Defense said one of Carter’s top priorities is building a military that’s open and attractive to the best people, ideas and technology.

"Joining Facebook is just one more way as secretary of defense he can better communicate with service members and their families and help the Pentagon think 'outside the five sided box' to drive change," the department said in a statement.

Citing the new "Military Family Lifestyle Survey" by Blue Star Families, Pentagon officials said 93 percent of responding military families use Facebook, which is higher than in the civilian population.

Eighty-nine percent said they use Facebook daily. It’s cited as the most frequently used method of communication for families separated by deployment.

Carter’s Facebook debut comes about a month after he visited Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., where he met with COO Sheryl Sandberg and Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans who now work for the tech giant.

The Pentagon said Carter will use his page to highlight work in the department, exchange ideas and hear directly about pressing challenges facing the military and the nation.