Ft. Bragg, NC, and USASOC got a surprise visitor on Tuesday, March 14 as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg spent time with soldiers and families during his self-proclaimed “Year of Travel” to all parts of the United States.

Zuckerberg has stated that he plans on visiting and meeting people from all 50 states. Some of his other stops have included an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, a Civil War battlefield in Mississippi and a rodeo in Ft. Worth, Texas.

The Facebook CEO’s visit to the Ft. Bragg area was not publicized but did visit the US Army’s Special Operations Command and spent some time with the soldiers, their families, and the Commander.

LTC Robert Bockholt a spokesman for USASOC told the media that Zuckerberg was on the base learning what the Special Operations command does and how it protects the strategic values of the nation. He described the meeting as a “two-way street.”

Zuckerberg said the military excels at execution and building teams and that his discussion with the USASOC commander, Lt. Gen. Kenneth E. Tovo, explained why.

“The general told me the most important values they instill in their soldiers are empathy and adaptability,” he said. “That’s why their special operators ‘live, work, eat, sleep and fight’ with the communities they operate in. It’s critical to their success that they communicate authentically and build relationships. As one officer told me, ‘95% of people around the world just want safety and jobs for themselves and their families. If you can understand that, you can start building trust.’”

Later Zuckerberg ate lunch with family members at a local restaurant at Pope Field and was interested in what was going on in the local community. Zuckerberg then moved up to Raleigh to meet with UNC and Duke basketball teams and finally to Charlotte where he met NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.

To read the entire article from Fayetteville News and Observer, click here: