A chief mass communication specialist in the Navy Reserves, Elizabeth Thompson, has been on quite a unique mission, working in Washington, D.C. on the military support team for the recent presidential inauguration and was promoted to Chief Petty Officer in the Navy, assigned to the public affairs team, where she is in charge of social media.
Elizabeth's parents, Robert and Mary Thompson, of Alamo, were there for her promotion ceremony, which was held Sept. 14 at the Navy Memorial, and Mary explained some of Elizabeth's responsibilities leading up to the inauguration.
"The joint task force Elizabeth works on offers multiple media options that are concerned with reporting news of military involvement in the inauguration," she said. "Beth feels very fortunate to have been selected to join this media group and finds it very exciting to be involved in such an important event," added Mary.
In an email Elizabeth explained her duties while assigned to the Joint Task Force-National Capital Region in support of the 57th presidential inauguration and some statistics.
"During the inauguration, I was the social media noncommissioned officer in charge, and I helped create and run the command's Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Pinterest pages. Currently, our Facebook page has 1,213 fans, 364 followers on Twitter, 14,484 video views and 28 subscribers on YouTube, and during the inaugural week our Flickr site saw 25,000 views, and we have 70 followers on Pinterest. On inauguration day our Facebook page reach was 157,028 with 8,951 talking about the page. My office also designed an iPhone app that gave users the ability to have easy access to the Parade of March, parade and swearing in maps, photos, videos and news stories about the military's support to the inauguration and the ability to watch the swearing in and parade live via your phone," she wrote.
Elizabeth told me that the presidential inaugural committee also launched a phone application, which was the first time they were designed for a presidential inauguration. How did Elizabeth come to this task force?
"I found out about it over a year ago while I was deployed to Afghanistan. My Navy reserve leadership sent out an email looking for volunteers, and I applied and submitted a package for the web/social media position," she said.
Elizabeth found out she'd been accepted when she got home from deployment and reported to Washington, D.C. in August, where she will be stationed until April. She told me that while she is there, she has been temporarily mobilized to active duty and told me she is still posting photography to their Flickr and Facebook pages, as well as contributing to two news stories for the Navy Reservist magazine. I got a little history lesson from an email Elizabeth sent.
"The military has provided ceremonial support to every inauguration in U.S. history. This tradition dates back to April 30, 1789, when members of the Army, local militia units and revolutionary war veterans escorted George Washington to the first U.S. presidential swearing in ceremony at Federal Hall in New York City. I have enjoyed learning about different military commands that come together to plan and execute such a momentous event. The best part of what I do as a Navy journalist and photographer is sharing the great things our military men and women do every day with the public," she wrote.
Contact Caterina Mellinger at around- firstname.lastname@example.org.