The 10th Mountain Division has recently acquired a mother – a 25-year-old first lieutenant public affairs officer who runs a popular Twitter.
The relationship started a few weeks ago when Lady, who was asked to remain anonymous, decided to boost the number of Twitter on Twitter for the 10th Mountain Division.
"That sort of happened on a whim," she said. "It was the Saturday after Thanksgiving and I was stuck in a car for six hours."
Twitter Facebook Not that you have not been a member of the 10th Mountain Division?
"There was 10th Mountain with 2,000 (followers), and it made me sad," she said. "I wanted to show them a little bit of love."
I know Lady tweeted out to her 10,000 or so.
"Hello, please, follow me!" @ 10MTNDIV because it makes me sad that they have fewer followers than brigade pages do. It's COLD UP THERE, "she wrote.
10th Mountain Twitter has roughly doubled, and the public affairs officers at 10th Mountain have been keeping up a steady banter with Lady, culminating in her being dubbed the #MotherOfTheMountain.
This is not the case for the 10th Mountain Division or any other official capacity. Her private efforts have not been unrecognized, though.
"(We are) Extremely appreciative of her support and the love she shows us, hence her unofficial title as 'mother of the mountain,'" wrote Maj. Harold Huff of 10th Mountain Division Public Affairs in an email to the Times.
Lady has taken her role seriously, tweeting compliments and concerns at the soldiers through the Mountain Week, the recently concluded winter warfare training exercise.
"I was really grateful," she said. "I think they took it in stride."
For the 10th Mountain Division, it has been an opportunity to show a more human side.
"Of course we've had a boost on our Twitter page from our followers, and we're very excited that people like what the 10th Mountain Division is doing," wrote Maj. Huff. "We're trying to have fun with our audience. We really want people to feel that they can reach out to the 10th Mountain Division. "
Military Twitter, which includes both military division official Twitter pages, like 10th Mountain, and private service members' pages, like Lady's, has become increasingly important in recent years.
Lady started her account in 2011, but only really got into the world of military. Conversational and occasionally crude, she sees her account as a way to humanize service members.
"There's an increasing distance between us and the civilian populace," she said. "I think this is what we want, this hero status, and we're just people, too."
The unofficial side of the military.
"Twitter almost feels like a modern day VFW," Lady said.
These conversations make the military more transparent to civilians and service members alike.
"It's cool to see senior leaders on Twitter and sharing their views," she said. "Civilians might not encounter a military person in their day-to-day life except for something online."
10,000 strangers, including the inevitable creeps and predators.
"By staying anonymous," she said.
It also allows you to talk about difficult subjects, including her past experiences with abuse.
"I'd prefer to talk to her about her on Twitter," she said.
For the official side of the military, social media plays a similar role in providing humanity and transparency – Fort Drum.
"Official social media accounts are created and managed using federal government resources (including time, manpower, and funds) to communicate the work of the Army," wrote Maj. Huff. And we want to know what we are going to do on the social media, and we want is what we're hoping people are experiencing now on our social media pages. "
Despite the joking, Lady takes the rules on military personnel.
Maj. Huff said the Army social media private accounts like Lady's that follow Army guidelines.
"There are no restrictions against social media accounts, but he wrote. "Social media is actually encouraged as a means to stay connected and tell the Army's story. As Soldiers, we are talking about a family and friends. "
The family will be the only one who will be able to stay in Italy.
"I'm pretty sure they're joking about that," Lady said. "It's pretty cold up there for me, not going to lie."
But she does not have any maternal advice for Fort Drum.
"I think the 10th Mountain Division is doing incredible work, and I'd tell them to stay warm," she said.