US Army blog reaches out to milbloggers

December 22, 2009

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 is not met with open arms", and acknowledging that "most of the issues milbloggers have are with their local command".

Nevertheless, Kyzer highlights that bloggers need to remain within the Uniform Code of Military Justice and Operations Security and are responsible for "maintaining military standards" and "decorum" online.

Perhaps most significantly she said "commanders remain free to set localized policy when it comes to social media use by their soldiers". That might disappoint some military bloggers who have been calling for stronger leadership from senior officers in favour of social media.

It’s also difficult to see how a number of military bloggers would take Kyzer’s advice to avoid politics and not "diss the boss" on their blogs.

Kyzer attempted to portray the ‘US military-military blogger’ relationship as fairly healthy. She dismissed claims of widespread closures of military blogs but said she was aware of one high profile case. (No doubt a reference to that of CJ Grisham which has had significant coverage both in the blogosphere and elsewhere.)

Although there was still progress to be made, she argued that "these days everyone from the Secretary of the Army to battalion and brigade commanders across the field aren’t just supportive of blogging – many of them are blogging themselves".

It will be interesting to see what the military bloggers make of it all.