Soldiers’ online journals come under increased scrutiny

Here is why we need milbloggers who aren’t subject to the UCMJ:

as the visibility and popularity of the blogs have increased, so, too, has the watchful eye of military officials. The Army, Marines, Navy and Air Force have all recently issued directives related to blogs, reminding soldiers and their commanders what information is unsuitable for posting.

In the last year, for example, the Army released specific blogging guidelines, requiring soldiers to register their online journals with commanders and establishing units to monitor Web sites for information that might violate Army policy.

The Pentagon itself has no official blogging policies, leaving the determination of what’s suitable and what’s not to commanders in the field. That increased scrutiny has troubled some soldiers, who have accused superiors of using operational security violations as a blanket excuse to mask disagreement with a blog’s politics or sense of humor. In any case, the new atmosphere has caused soldiers to think twice before they post.

Blogging from the combat zone is a major time management problem.  I’ve tried it.  I gave up.  You have to make time for it.  If you’re blogging from MWR you’re not spending your alloted half hour emailing your wife.  You have to have the mental energy to compose an entry.  That usually means you have been getting enough sleep.  Now add to all these impediments a chain of command hostile to your blog and you have major disincentives to bother with it.  My first name is not really Cannoneer.  There is a reason I post under a nom de plume.

Harrassment over OPSEC could shut active duty bloggers down.  If and when that happens, the retired, former, and never were military blloggers will have to pick up the slack.  The active duty bloggers will have to go underground, emailing their stuff to supporters who can post it on their blogs.  Milbloggers who are not subject to command pressure are the redundancy in the network.

Colby Buzzell is featured in the above link.  He got me blogging.

J. P. Borda is on this story.  In it, too.

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