Website Reviews: Marine Corps
Reviewed by Ashley M. Evans (July 2014):
The Marine Corps operates within the Department of the Navy but has the unique responsibility of not only protecting America by sea but also on land. This combination of duties makes the Marine Corps essential to the United States military. The Marine Corps website is designed to make both the servicemen and civilians aware of what is going on within this sub-agency of the Department of the Navy. As such, the site is to be used by both servicemen and civilians and is directly structured in such a way as to be accessible by both.
The Marine Corps website is broken down into seven main areas that are all listed across the navigation tool bar along the top of each webpage. Unfortunately, there is a community relations page that is currently under construction. The first section is on the Corps units. This section of the website gives users the opportunity to search for any Marine Corps unit in the Marine Corps Unit Directory. The directory has a search system that lets users look for units with keywords, location (states and countries), and type. People can also just browse through the list of all the units. Another section of the website is about leadership. The leaders section is primarily used to introduce users to the men who command the Marine Corps and links up to their information including a biography, official photo, and website. There are four commanders listed under this section: the Secretary of the Navy the Honorable Ray Mabus, Commandant of the Marine Corps General James F. Amos, Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps General John M. Paxton Jr., and Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Sergeant Major Micheal P. Barrett.
The third section of the website is the news. The news section is unique in that it is the only section that has multiple components. Under news there is messages, Marines TV, social media, press releases, Marines Blog, and publications.
The Marine Corps does an excellent job providing up-to-date news on what is going on within the organization. The Marine Corps messages feed is particularly aimed at providing information about the Corps as it happens. For example, on July 3, 2014 a report was released on the website about the increase in thorough inspections at truck gates. The Marine Corps TV puts out videos focusing on various components to the Corps as well as focused stories on specific Marines. The blog produces posts highlighting the Marine Corps servicemen as well as posts providing information about Corps operations. The publications and press releases are the best place to search for official information about the makeup of Corps including the doctrine and technical publications. The last part of the news section is social media. Beyond the typical Facebook page and Twitter page the Marine Corps has a YouTube channel, Flickr, Pinterest, and Instagram account! Each social media feature is exceptionally maintained and aimed to connect the servicemen as well as civilians to the work of the Marine Corps. The social media links are also along the navigation tool bar on every page giving everybody the opportunity to explore these amazing resources.
The fourth section of the website is photos. This section has various photographs of the Marine Corps in action. Users have the options to browse the photos or search the photos with a keyword, by category, or by date.
The “Marines” and “Family” pages are the central points for these users and are the final two sections. The Marines page provides information about training, careers, publications, services, and news and media. These are the resources that Marines need and the website provides a way to access them. Additionally the website is open to the public and therefore the public gets the chance to look at what the Marines need to know. The family page provides resources for the family members on the home front like services and base programs.
The Marine Corps website is a wonderful outlet of information for both civilians and Marines. The various sections of the website allow users to search for the information they need as well as general updates about what happens in the agency. There are no obvious issues in the website other than the community relations section being under construction. Ultimately, the website perfectly presents information and connects Americans to what this important branch of the military does.
Ashley M. Evans is an MLS student at the University of Maryland iSchool enrolled in the eGovernment specialization. Ashley is a recipient of a Laura Bush 21st Century scholarship funded by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services.