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1. "Terino, John Civ USAF AETC ACSC/DEW" <John.Terino@MAXWELL.AF.MIL> 2. Judy Monhollen <email@example.com> 3. John W. Hall <jwhall3@WISC.EDU> 4. "Kuehn, John Dr CIV USA TRADOC" <firstname.lastname@example.org> 5. Dennis Berger <dennis_berger@ATT.NET> -----Message from: "Terino, John Civ USAF AETC ACSC/DEW" <John.Terino@MAXWELL.AF.MIL>----- In response to Mr. Beard's posting relating an article in the NY Review of Books regarding the creation of social networking sites and the military, I would say that the author of the review is both correct and incorrect. Official DoD networks ban all social networking sites. Unofficial networks, including those available in internet café like establishments in forward areas run by AAFES, the USO, or similar organizations, allow access. Almost all DoD installations have firewalls that block many sites on the internet such as Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, and others. There are limited networks and accounts that may permit these entities, but the general clampdown on cybersecurity has led to more restrictions on what can be accessed. All the official stuff aside, the military and military folks have a presence on Facebook for sure. I know of more than a handful of commanders that have pages and use them regularly as well as specific military organizations and units that do also. One of my favorite military related Facebook pages is the "I hate reflective belts" page. It is not anything close to official, but sort of demonstrates how military folks of all ranks use Facebook just like regular people do. So, I would be careful taking the author's assertions about class, rank, the military, and official policy regarding social networking with a grain of salt. He really is not backing up his assertions with more than innuendo and rumor. The restrictions that DoD have placed on networks over the last decade are extremely broad and are almost always unrelated to anything other than security of networks. Recently I tried to gain access to a very popular and insightful blog regarding COIN in Afghanistan from my office. It was denied because independent blogging sites, as a general rule, are restricted. Once the author moved his blog to think tank host in Washington, I was allowed access without asking for any change in the rules. JOHN G. TERINO Associate Professor of Airpower Studies Air Command and Staff College (ACSC) Maxwell AFB, AL "Terino, John Civ USAF AETC ACSC/DEW" <John.Terino@MAXWELL.AF.MIL> -----Message from: Judy Monhollen <email@example.com>----- I think there is a turn in Facebook users in the military now. I work for a Field Artillery unit on Fort Lewis (Joint Base Lewis-McChord as of 1 February), and most of the 400 soldiers in my battalion are on Facebook, as are their wives. Myspace has been banned for a very long time, and Facebook goes on and off the ban list on a pretty regular basis. However, units are now using Facebook as a way to communicate with family members by providing updates on the more innocuous things the soldiers are doing while they are deployed. My husband is in the 4th Stryker Brigade here on Lewis, and the Brigade has a Facebook page blessed off on by the Brigade Commander, managed by their public affairs officer, and governed by a very strict SOP. They also monitor comments on their site very closely to ensure everyone is adhering to OPSEC regulations. There are some problems with individuals posting status updates stating where they are throughout their trip to Afghanistan or Iraq, but they are nipped in the bud very quickly. My position (Family Readiness Support Assistant) requires close (and more caring) contact with our soldiers and spouses, so many of them add me on Facebook. It is really up to their peers to keep them from posting routes and whatnot, and I remind our spouses constantly to make sure they are keeping OPSEC in mind when they post to their Facebook, as well. As far as Myspace is concerned, the blog provided on the website provides an easier forum for soldiers to post everyday activities with as many words as they want, where the status updates on Facebook have a limited character count, so it is more difficult to go into serious detail. From our OPSEC briefs, we are told by our intel men that the vast majority of the information gathered by the enemy is harvested from social networking sites, and Myspace in particular. There was another study that came out not too long ago showing the disparity in user income between Myspace (lowest income), Facebook (solidly middle class and mostly educated), and Twitter (some of the highest income in the United States). If I remember correctly, it was a news story that aired on all the major national news channels. I hope that helps to give you some insight. I could go into greater detail, but I imagine that you do not want a book in your inbox! V/R, Judy Monhollen Family Readiness Support Assistant 3-17 Field Artillery, 5/2 SBCT firstname.lastname@example.org Judy Monhollen <email@example.com> -----Message from: John W. Hall <jwhall3@WISC.EDU>----- Because of security concerns, military information security managers would prefer to bar all social networking sites (and local security managers have been known to deny access to Facebook on occasion). At the same time, the military does not want to be (or perceived to be) behind the "new media" wave, and it wants to encourage egalitarian collaboration. Thus, the TRADOC commander is blogging, military "communities of interest/practice" have formed groups on Facebook, etc. I'm skeptical of the author's claim about a class bias; my sense is that Facebook use is ubiquitous among soldiers. Facebook has received preferential treatment, I think, because it is perceived to be more conducive to professional collaboration than other social networking sites yet more popular with young people than sites such as LinkedIn. John Hall John W. Hall <jwhall3@WISC.EDU> -----Message from: "Kuehn, John Dr CIV USA TRADOC" <firstname.lastname@example.org>----- This was a policy decision made at various times by various people. LTG William Caldwell, as the Commandant of the Command and General Staff College established a CGSC facebook page and encouraged everyone to interact on it as well as to blog. The reasons for this require another post, although if one goes to the CAC website here: http://usacac.leavenworth.army.mil/BLOG/blogs/Bloggers.aspx One can find discussions that highlight why. Vr, John John T. Kuehn, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Military History Curriculum Developer Department of Military History U.S. Army Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth, KS "Kuehn, John Dr CIV USA TRADOC" <email@example.com> -----Message from: Dennis Berger <dennis_berger@ATT.NET>----- Jonathon Beard needs to reexamine the social demographics of today's military. Two recent RAND reports indicate that while enlisted generally do have less education than officers (as would be expected since they recruit from two different pools) they generally come from the same socioeconomic backgrounds, namely middle and upper middle class. This so called class distinction does not really play out since military members have access to their own choice of these sights when they are off duty in their personal quarters. Dennis Berger Dennis Berger <dennis_berger@ATT.NET> ----- For subscription help, go to: http://www.h-net.org/lists/help/ To change your subscription settings, go to http://h-net.msu.edu/cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=h-war -----