U.S. Army MARS Web Site Rules

These rules apply to all U.S. Army MARS affiliate members that wish to establish and maintain accessible, non-restricted public web sites in support of the Army MARS program.

The World Wide Web (WWW) is an efficient and effective means for the promotion of the U.S. Army MARS program. Army MARS state affiliate web sites should focus on providing value-added information services to the public through the sharing of accurate, relevant information. Army MARS state affiliate web sites can enhance the promotion of the MARS mission through information sharing, and save resources currently expended on traditional means of advertising. To ensure that the Army MARS leverages the capabilities of the WWW in a manner that is efficient the following guidance is provided.

The U.S. Army MARS State Directors should evaluate their web site's ability to provide a State unique value-added service to the public, enhance the execution of the State's MARS missions and functions, or realize efficiencies when determining whether their State should develop or continue to maintain an Army MARS affiliate web site. A web site that is limited to only providing hyperlinks does not provide a value-added and will not be approved by the MARS HQ Staff. There are multitudes of search engines that perform that mission.

U.S. Army MARS web sites will have a professional appearance and tone. No objectionable material will be hyperlinked to or displayed on the web site. Any such violations should be brought to the attention of the MARS HQ Staff and appropriate directors. That affiliate webmaster will be directed to remove the objectionable material or loose official acknowledgement and all hyperlinks from all U.S. Army MARS web sites.

The U.S. Army MARS HQ Staff is ultimately responsible for the content of the affiliate web sites and their compliance with these rules. The U.S. Army MARS HQ Staff will approve and have knowledge of the web sites operated by their affiliate members and the information provided to the public through these web sites.

U.S. Army MARS state affiliate web sites as a minimum will provide the following information or hyperlinks to the following information on or from their web site:

  1. The U.S. Army MARS mission
  2. The history of MARS
  3. The benefit of joining Army MARS
  4. Application for membership information
  5. Electronic mail address, phone number, or mail address of point of contacts responsible for the web site content.
  6. A hyperlink to the U.S. Army MARS Command Homepage

Each State will institute a review process to ensure that all information provided on their web site is current, timely, and cleared for public release by the MARS HQ Staff.

To ensure that a user entering any Army MARS web site can reach a central source for accessing all other Army MARS web sites, every Army MARS web site will provide a hyperlink to the U.S. Army MARS Command home page site map (http://www.netcom.army.mil/mars/links.htm) on their web site.

Official Army policy states that "Personal use of government resources generally is improper. Hyperlinks on official U.S. Army web sites to personal homepages or web sites is prohibited." An exception to this policy has been granted in the case where an U.S. Army MARS affiliate member donates all or a portion of their own Internet Service Provider (ISP) webserver space in support of the MARS program. It is common that an affiliate member have an ISP account with authorization for one web site. The member may later wish to add a web page in support of the MARS program. A link between these web pages is required and permissible solely for the purpose of maintaining the integrity of a single web site.

Official Army policy states that "Commercial advertising on official U.S. Army web sites is prohibited. Corporate or product logos and trademarks are considered commercial advertisements, and may not be served from official U.S. Army web sites." It is common practice that so called free web site hosts such as Geocities as well as other ISPs may require promotion of their or other services on their patrons web sites. Also some web site hosts or ISPs for an additional fee may remove these ads. Understanding that this occurs and not wanting to require our membership to pay out any private funds solely for the removal of such ads, U.S. Army MARS state affiliate web sites are permitted to allow such advertisements on their Army MARS presentations only if their web site host and/or ISP requires them to. In other words affiliate webmasters may not willfully commercially advertise on their MARS presentations.

Website/document points of contact ("webmaster") will:

  1. Ensure that information published on their web site is tasteful, accurate, timely, represents the official Army MARS position, and is properly cleared for public dissemination by the MARS HQ Staff.
  2. Ensure that information, which has been deemed by the MARS HQ Staff as unclassified but sensitive, information that cannot be disclosed under the Privacy Act, is not made available to the general public.
  3. Gain written permission by pertinent individuals prior to the release of their personal information such as name, email address, telephone number etc.
  4. Provide the highest possible level of assurance that information made available on their web site does not contain malicious software code such as viruses, Trojan horses, logic bombs, bacteria and worms, or if it does, to sufficiently notify any user before the download of such information begins.
  5. Respond to user email and direct queries or requests for information to the responsible party within the MARS HQ Staff.
  6. Ensure that the affiliate's web site provides point of contact information.