Stability Operations Doctrine

October 15, 2008

On October 6th, the Army unveiled new doctrine on Stability Operations (Field Manual 3.07 download).  It’s good to see lessons learned incorporated to update doctrine.  The new manual will be immediately pushed down to officers schools so our leaders operate with the same concept of how we organize and win wars.  Another key element of Army doctrine is standardizing language (jargon) used that transcends from unit to unit, post to post.  Long live the nit-picky SGLs who shout “USE DOCTRINAL TERMS” to students during MDMP briefings.

Col. Stephen Twitty demonstrating his cultural awareness for effective diplomacy

Col. Stephen Twitty demonstrating his cultural awareness for effective diplomacy

Jack Kem provides a good explanation of doctrine here:

To be useful, doctrine must satisfy a number of criteria. To begin with, it must be vetted, accurate, and acceptable, all of which is ensured by the deliberate process involved in developing doctrine before it is published. Second, it must be well known and commonly understood, which the Army’s training and education programs function to accomplish. When all of these criteria have been met, doctrine forms the common language and shared professional culture throughout the Army. As Mr. Clint Ancker, the Director of the Army’s Combined Arms Doctrine Directorate says, “Doctrine is sound military advice prepared in advance.”

It’s important to understand this doctrine was developed by the U.S. Army inconjunction with a variety of Governmental Agencies and NGOs.  This is a good sign as we long ago realized that Soldiers alone are not suited to win wars and rebuild countries without assistance from the civilian sector.  Here’s an article about the development of FM 3.07 from March 2008.

Here is the link to the Combined Arms Center’s (CAC) page for the rollout of FM 3.07.  Normally, new Army doctrine goes unnoticed by the general public, however, the CAC’s Commanding General is a master of the media and used a variety of dead tree and Web 2.0 strategies to generate buzz.  Ultimately, the goal is to focus all the elements of power on conducting effective integrated Stability Operations.

More news and opinions:  Small Wars Journal, Toby Nunn’s blog, and Mountain Runners thoughts.

Secretary of the Army says Blog, baby, blog!

October 1, 2008

Back in June I told you my, non-loyal, readers that the Army embraces blogging.  In the news, the Secretary of the Army, Pete Geren, has encouraged more MilBlogging.

Soldier blogging

Soldier blogging

Secretary Geren said:

We’ve got to embrace every form of media, and this new medium – and particularly blogging, for many people – has replaced traditional media as a way to get news,” said Geren. “And not only to get news, but to educate themselves, the back and forth that blogs offer. So I see it as an addition of what we’re doing, and a mechanism to reach some people who you don’t reach at all through so-called traditional media.

His comments illustrate that Senior Leaders of the Army will begin to embrace Web 2.0. Secretary Geren’s comments were made during the 2008 MilBlog Conference held in conjunction with the Blog World Expo. (I didn’t know about either of these events…)

A video of LTG William B. Caldwell, IV addressing the MilBlog Conference–he is an advocate for blogging and directs all students at Command & General Staff College (Major’s school) to blog.  And here is an article about Secretary Geren’s historic visit to the MilBlog Conference.

I’m working on a two articles on this subject over the next few weeks.  Stay tuned…

Oh and if the Chief of Public Affairs is reading, Sir, I’d like to work on the Army or DoD New Media team. *fingers crossed*

Factcheck: The military embraces blogging

July 20, 2008

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”.