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In Support of "A Soldier's Perspective"

We interrupt our regularly scheduled broadcast to support a fellow milblogger, Army Master Sgt. C.J. Grisham. His blog, A Soldiers Perspective, has come under fire:

"In early October, C.J. started using A Soldier's Perspective as a vehicle to protest the decision to switch to uniforms mid-year at his children's school...As a result, C.J. says members of the school board contacted his army commanders to complain about his candid blog, asking him to remove all relating posts. Those very requests drove C.J. to shut down A Soldier's Perspective in early November."

So today, led by the blogs Bouhammer and BlackFive, many milblogs are going silent in support of Grisham, and more importantly, free speech.

This obviously affects us here at On Violence since Michael C is an active duty Army Officer, and some of our most popular posts have been personal experience essays. Ethically, we support free speech. As long as a Soldier doesn't divulge sensitive information, he should have the freedom to say what he wants. Pracitically, we believe a military with open communication with the public will build more support from the general public, not less.

We will resume our regular posting schedule on Friday.

Again, please check out A Soldier's Perspective, Bouhammer, and BlackFive for more on this issue.

four comments

I hope your blog hasn´t landed you in the spotlight with your chain of command. This is an issue as old as the coexistence of the war and the internet, people like Colby Buzzel and the guys at Fight to Survive were definitely getting into hot water for their writing. Now even very “hooah” pro-mission, career military people are getting into trouble for their writing as well. It just goes to show that if you take away one person´s rights you take away everybody´s.

I have gotten this question a couple of times from people, and to be honest, On Violence is so far flying under the radar of my command. Part of the reason is that I don’t write about incidents happening in the immediate present. I usually wait on topics to make sure I don’t write in the heat of the moment.

It is a disturbing idea that commands censor or discourage their soldiers.

Just make sure to put up a disclaimer sometime saying that this blog is your personal opinion and no way repesentative of the views of the DoD, the Department of the Army etc. Theoretically people are protected by DoD directive 1325.6, but that doesn´t usually stop petty harassment from the chain of command.

Yeah, we have a note at the bottom, and on the about page.

I don’t think we say anything too controversial, but well, fingers crossed.