Tracing the first official U.S. military blogs

July 7, 2010

So yesterday on Twitter I asked a question: when was the first official U.S. military blog started?

Of course, long gone are the days when blogs were an unknown quantity, and these days blogs by U.S. soldiers will usually be signed off by a superior meaning they are to some degree ‘official’ but I wasn’t after these individual soldier blogs.

By ‘official’ I meant blogs that were started as deliberate public affairs exercises on behalf of a branch of the services, or individual units as the corporate, the professional, the governmental, the NGO and the military began colonising the blogosphere.

Nobody seemed sure but people like @LindyKyzer, @fieldsteven, @salottimc and @milblogging (who also wrote a blog post about it) pointed me in the direction of various pieces of information or other people I might ask.

Using their information and some link-hopping, what appears below is a list by start of date of official U.S. military blogs.

I have no doubt that it is a far from comprehensive list so if you have any to add or reckon I’ve got the date wrong let me know. I’m aware that some blogs might have been disbanded or restarted.

I’m not sure I can yet conclusively answer the question I posed but I’m further forward.

It has been an interesting exercise. For some reason (and I’m not sure why) I was under the impression that the U.S. military had been officially blogging for longer than it actually has. 

Initially the strategy of the Department of Defense’s New Media Directorate, set up in October 2006, was to work with and engage bloggers rather than start their own blogs.  

(Although @Wodins suggested that official military blogging might have been taking place on ARPANET way before the Internet.)

Official U.S. Military Blogs by Start Date

2004-5 

DoD news article suggests a blog written by Capt Steve Alvarez for Orlando Sentinel as part of his official duties in Iraq was "first official U.S. military blog". (Here is a taster…it appears to be no different from any online article).

2006

October – Department of Defense New Media Directorate established; For the Record (Pseudo-blog: see this written by Steven Field for discussion of whether this is a blog)*

2007

October – Bloggers’ Roundtable

2008

January – Army Strong Stories; Dept of Navy Chief Information Officer;
February – US Army Corps of Engineers
April – DoD Live at Blogger
June – Combined Arms Center Blog; ARSIC-South
July – US Army Surgeon General
August – Task Force Mountain
September  – US Army Medical Corps; US Air Force Live;
December – 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team 3rd Inf Div; Commander US Army Pacific; US Army Reserve
 
2009
 
January – US European Command
February – US Air Forces Europe
April – Army Live; DoD Live (relaunch)
May – TRADOC
July – 4th Brigade, 1st Armored Division; U.S. Fleet Forces Command Blog; USS Stout; Commander Submarine Group Ten; SPAWAR Systems Center;
August – 17th FiB
September – 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Div
November – Army Technology Live; US Army Cadet Command;
 
2010
 
January – NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan
April – Navy Live, (Details here)
May – Army Strong Stories (Relaunched 6 May)
June – Central Command Live blog

Updates: This post has been updated on several occasions to include several other blogs missing from the original post in response to comments and emails.