Mil Blogs

March 2, 2010

Department of Defense switches default policy on social media to ‘open’

As of last Friday, all US servicemen have been able to update social networks like Twitter and Facebook from non-classified military network computers. The announcement by the Department of Defense is the first time a single policy has been used across all branches of the Armed Forces and effectively reverses a Marine Corps ban on […]

December 22, 2009

US Army blog reaches out to milbloggers

A post has been written on the official US Army blog in an attempt to appease disaffected US military bloggers who held a silent protest last Wednesday. Public Affairs Specialist, Lindy Kyzer, concurs with a number of concerns raised by military bloggers admitting that there are "still areas, and leaders, where blogging in the ranks […]

December 18, 2009

US military bloggers fall silent in protest

A couple of days ago a number of military bloggers in the US agreed to hold a silent day of protest and more bloggers appear to be joining the campaign. The trigger for the blogging strike was the treatment of blogger CJ Grisham whose chain of command became involved in his row with a local […]

November 18, 2009

TA soldier’s blog post hits the headlines

A blog post written by a Territorial Army soldier who was killed in Afghanistan has received widespread media coverage. In the post entilted ‘Hello from Afghan’, Rifleman Andrew Fentiman of 7 Rifles, describes how he was waiting to be transferred to his Forward Operating Base shortly after arriving in Afghanistan two weeks ago. Several news […]

November 12, 2009

IDF soldier blogs from the front line

A blogging American-Israeli combat soldier has been deployed to the West Bank. According to his blog, 25 year old Danny Brothers has finished his training with the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) and is serving in "al-Madina al-Muqaddasah" – a pseudonym for the city where he is stationed. In recent posts, Brothers describes his first foot […]

November 10, 2009

Military blogging: “no longer worth the trouble”

The US military blog, A Soldier’s Perspective, has closed down after six years. In a message which has replaced the entire content of the blog, Iraq veteran and well-known military blogger, CJ Grisham, writes: "Blogging is no longer worth the trouble. Everything is fine as long as the stories are happy and positive. The military […]

October 19, 2009

WRL: Blogging, Milblogging and the London bombings

(Dusty history section) on the London bombings, 2005. I came across a couple of links on media coverage of the London bombings in July 2005 that I hadn’t previously discovered. Maybe you missed them too. Mike Thelwall did some research into bloggers and the bombings which ‘scratches the surface’ of the use of blogs to […]

July 29, 2009

2 Rifles in Helmand

I tweeted about this a couple of days ago, but if you haven’t yet latched on to Michael Yon’s latest reports and photography from Afghanistan then you should do so now. And while we’re on the ‘blogging from Helmand theme’, this collection of British Commanders’ Diaries from Operation Panther’s Claw is also worth checking out.

July 7, 2009

If you want a different take…

…on the recent deaths of British Army soldiers, Lt Col Rupert Thorneloe and Tpr Joshua Hammond, in Afghanistan then head over to Defence of the Realm. The author, Richard North, believes the BBC missed the point about the weaknesses of the Viking that the soldiers were travelling in when it was hit by an Improvised […]

June 10, 2009

“A small price to pay for good relations”

Population-centric approaches to counterinsurgency warfare emphasise the importance of protecting the local people rather than killing the enemy. When war takes place among the people, using military force is problematic so the priority is to win the support of the local population by providing security and services and building relationships with village elders.  That’s (a […]

June 9, 2009

Why milbloggers blog from the front line

‘Afghan Kush‘ is a U.S. Infantry soldier currently deployed in Zabul province, Afghanistan. His unit, 1-4 Infantry, have been involved in some fighting recently around two forward operating bases. In a recent post, Afghan Kush writes about his front line involvement in a day-long engagement with guerrilla forces. Or rather he writes about his dissatisfaction […]

May 11, 2009

The evolution of military blogging in the mediasphere

A couple of weeks ago I was at the military blogging conference in Washington DC. (I decided to use the opportunity to spend some time travelling in Virginia and then I was straight onto a new media conference in Athens, so I’m way behind with the blogging.) It was really interesting to meet the milbloggers […]

April 20, 2009

Milblogging Conference 2009

If all goes according to plan, I will be at the Milblogging Conference in Washington D.C. this Friday and Saturday.  I’m really looking forward to meeting some of the bloggers behind the milblogs and hearing what they have to say about a variety of topics. I’d like to do a few short interviews with some […]

March 25, 2009

‘Two-bit blogging’: an example

A couple of bits and pieces I picked up today. Literally – a couple: 1. Noah Shachtman, editor of the Danger Room at Wired, is (almost) accused of being a ‘two-bit blogger’ by a spokesman for Donald Rumsfeld: "I think if you’re going to accuse Rumsfeld of ‘blowing the war in Afghanistan’ and do it […]

March 20, 2009

Blogging military blogging

I came across a blog called Soldiers in the blogosphere recently. It’s run by an active duty US Army Major, Jakob Bruhl, and is part of his graduation requirement from the Air Command and Staff College. Maj Bruhl discusses whether soldiers should be encouraged to write blogs and over the last few weeks he has […]

March 10, 2009

Ministry of Defence blog rumbling forward

The Ministry of Defence has been rather slow on the uptake in the social media world. Partly because they’ve just been slow – it happens in large bureaucratic organisations and partly because there are a lot of difficulties working out how best to play the communication game when lives are at stake and sensitive issues […]

March 6, 2009

US military revisits blogging

The US military remains at the forefront of social media and military policy but recently new questions about the value of blogging have been raised. There has been plenty of debate in particular on the US Army Combined Arms Center site about the role of blogs as a means of strategic communication. Apparently, ‘the US […]

March 3, 2009

Counterinsurgency and new media

The Small Wars Journal has put together a collection of thoughts on the impact of new media on the way the US military has fought in Afghanistan and Iraq. Well worth bookmarking, reading, and re-reading. I was going to pick out a ‘best of’, but I was struggling. It’s all very interesting. It includes thoughts […]

November 12, 2008

Blogging journalist ready for Iraq embed

Independent journalist Michael Totten is going back to Baghdad. He’s managed to organise an embed with the US military and will no doubt be blogging his trip here. “So stay tuned for an in-depth tour through Baghdad after the surge. I will learn as much from this adventure as you will. The United States will […]

November 6, 2008

More on Meo and the US milbloggers

I’ve been doing some further work into ‘Nick Meo vs the milbloggers‘ to try to work out exactly what is going on. The Telegraph journalist has got in touch with me and I have also had email contact with 1Lt Amy Bonanno, the ARSIC Public Affairs Officer. I’d like to start by setting up what […]

November 3, 2008

Telegraph journalist, Nick Meo vs Milbloggers: a summary

One of the ways in which bloggers have acquitted themselves in the media space is by acting as a ‘fifth estate’ – scrutinising what the fourth estate – the mainstream media – do, challenging facts and publishing corrections, clarifications, and rebuttals. A while ago, I collected some links on the way bloggers appeared to influence […]

October 22, 2008

US Milblogs from Iraq

After the closure of Kaboom: A Soldier’s War Journal, what’s been filling my milblogging void? Well here are some of the ones from Iraq that I’ve been reading recently. Fobbits Need Ice Cream Too. A National Guard Infantry soldier describes life running convoys into Iraq from Kuwait in the best of irreverent styles. “Our battalion […]

September 27, 2008

US Army General challenges the military to embrace new media at Milblogging Conference

“We need to change the organisational culture of our military. A culture that emphasises control of all pertinent events within our battlespace. And yet the stark realisation is that we cannot control all aspects of this new media…” This is an extract from a video of Lieutenant General William Caldwell speaking at the recent Milblogging […]

September 12, 2008

Defense Dept responsible for more OPSEC breaches than milblogs

Ari Melber has written an article for ‘The Nation’ about blogging regulations and the US Army. Not much new here, but some interesting analysis. I found this paragraph particularly enlightening for those that are concerned about the threat from blogs to Operational Security (OPSEC): “Even when the web does expose problematic information about military operations, […]

September 11, 2008

9/11: “A galvanising point for the blogging world”

In Reporting War, Barbie Zelizer and Stuart Allan suggest that the attack on the World Trade Center seven years ago was a significant moment in the history of war reporting. As mainstream media servers struggled to cope with the volumes of traffic accessing their websites, bloggers inevitably dropped their usual subjects and began piecing together […]

September 10, 2008

‘CPT G’ takes up position in Information Operations

Captain Matthew Gallagher, the milblogger behind Kaboom: A Soldier’s War Journal, has been moved away from his frontline duties. According to his fiancée, he’s been given a role in Information Operations at a Forward Operating Base in Iraq. In May, a blog post written by Captain Gallagher about his refusal to accept a role away […]

September 9, 2008

Milbloggies 2008: Go vote for your favourite milblog

The 2008 Milblogging Awards have been open for a couple of days now. If you want to nominate a blog you’ll have to head on over to before Wednesday. Voting will begin on Thursday. There are several categories: U.S. Air Force U.S. Army U.S. Marine Corps U.S. Military (Parent) U.S. Military (Spouse) U.S. Military […]

September 5, 2008

Milblogger reflects on attacks at Camp Salerno

About two weeks ago, Camp Salerno in Afghanistan was attacked twice in two days by Afghan militants. Milblogger Rich Phillips, who spent some time at Salerno, says articles like the ones linked to above (BBC) are useful for the broader picture of what happened, but will not provide a close-up view: “I know from experience […]

July 25, 2008

Identity of ‘LT G’, former Kaboom milblogger, revealed

The man behind the popular military blog, Kaboom, is 25 year old Matthew Gallagher. His blog was shut down after he failed to allow a blog posting to be vetted by a superior. He was serving with the 25th Infantry Division’s 2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment. His platoon was based in a small village north-west […]

June 27, 2008

Milblogger bites the dust for writing ‘too much unfiltered truth’

LT G, author of Kaboom: A Soldier’s War Journal, says he will have to stop updating his milblog with immediate effect. In a post entitled ‘Tactical Pause‘, LT G explains that although he ‘committed no OPSEC violations’, ‘extenuating circumstances’ meant a post he wrote on 28 May did not go through the ‘normal vetting channels’. […]