RUMOR: The military does not allow servicemembers to blog.
FACT: The military embraces blogging and even runs a few blogs on the .mil domain (See examples of official blogs, here, here, here, here)
Military bloggers provide the Naked Conversations that much of the general public can benefit from.
I found it really interesting that my Social Media classroom blog run by Professor Garrett Graff is linked to a large Military blog.
I agree with Lt. Gen. William Caldwell, IV that the military should embrace blogging (and other Social Media). Caldwell was previously Senior Spokesperson for Multi-National Force–Iraq (MNF-I). His current duties include serving as Commandant of the Command & General Staff College. He has published a policy letter that encourages blogging on .mil and commercial websites.
Caldwell’s views on the importance of internet/social media (as outlined in the policy letter):
Interactive internet activities are an essential part of our responsibilities to provide information to the public, usher in a culture of change within our Army’s officer Leadership, Development, and Education and support military operations. Leaders within the Army need to understand the power of the internet and leverage as many communications means as possible to communicate what the CAC is doing and more importantly to “Share the Story” of those serving in uniform and highlight the incredible sacrifices they and their families are making.
Here is one of the blogs from a classroom of Army Majors.
In fact the Army has accounts at twitter, youtube, and flickr. Though they don’t have many followers, subscribers, contacts, respectively; consider these sites a sign that Senior Leaders are embracing social media.
UPDATE 1: I just found this link where Pete Geren, Secretary of the Army says:
Senior Army leaders have fallen behind the breakneck development of cheap digital communications including cell phones, digital cameras and Web 2.0 Internet sites such as blogs and Facebook, Army Secretary Pete Geren said at a trade conference on July 10. That helps explain how “just one man in a cave that’s hooked up to the Internet has been able to out-communicate the greatest communications society in the history of the world — the United States”.