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December 16, 2009

Some Milbloggers Go Silent For A Day

You may notice that many of your favorite military blogs don't have any new posts today. That's because, as Jonn Lilyea of This Ainít Hell writes in an email, there's an organized day of silence.

The reason for this is two-fold. First, milblogs are facing an increasingly hostile environment from within the military. While senior leadership has embraced blogging and social media, many field grade officers and senior NCOs do not embrace the concept. From general apathy in not wanting to deal with the issue to outright hositility to it, many commands are not only failing to support such activities, but are aggressively acting against active duty milbloggers, milspouses, and others. The number of such incidents appears to be growing, with milbloggers receiving reprimands, verbal and written, not only for their activities but those of spouses and supporters.

The catalyst has been the treatment of milblogger C.J. Grisham of A Soldier's Perspective (http://www.soldiersperspective.us/). C.J. has earned accolades and respect, from the White House on down for his honest, and sometimes blunt, discussion of issues -- particularly PTSD. In the last few months, C.J. has seen an issue with a local school taken to his command who failed to back him, and has even seen his effort to deal with PTSD, and lead his men in same by example, used against him as a part of this. Ultimately, C.J. has had to sell his blog to help raise funds for his defense in this matter.

I'm not familiar with Master Sgt. Grisham's blogging but a lot of milbloggers I read and respect are and they are supporting him. This is not a group apt to fly off the handle and complain at small slights. As a group they are, in the words of the Declaration of Independence, "more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed." I think the fact that they have taken this step shows the importance they attach to this issue.

Milbloggers have served an important function since their rise to prominence. As someone will no military experience Iíve found their insights invaluable to understanding and appreciating the men and women who serve our nation in this time of war.

As a blogger here at the HQ, Iíve been able to find stories that I wouldnít have otherwise known about or been able to add details and perspective that simply arenít available from other sources.

To my mind, their most important contribution has been in countering the various slanders the left and the media have attempted to lay on this generation of servicemen and women. Thanks to milbloggers, the Scott Beauchamps and Jessie MacBeths of the world are exposed for what they are and this generation of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen wonít be defined by those hostile to them.

Change is scary for any organization and as Iím sure the milbloggers will tell you, there are many in the military who Ďgetí what they do and value their efforts. No doubt they also understand there are rightfully lines that have to be drawn and not crossed.

Hopefully this day of protest and the attention it will draw will hasten the militaryís ability to strike the right balance.


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posted by DrewM. at 10:42 AM

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