Sunday, April 17, 2011

Forced into Twittery

Afghan & coalition forces killed four militants & detained two suspects in a Wardak Province operation targeting an IED-network commander

That was a 140-character "tweet" sent officially to the masses of individuals including news sites following them on June 1st 2009, hours before a formal traditional announcement to the media. It was one of the first examples of the U.S. Military embracing this new instant Web 2.0 tech that is changing the world.

While like Facebook, Twitter is banned from all U.S. Military workstations [which makes sense as it's not like servicemen should be tweeting or updating their profiles on "company time"] some select groups have waivers. One group are the respective military personnel in the intelligence departments [who learned about events in Egypt and Libya through FB updates and tweets quicker than any asset in the region] and the other group are the relatively new military social media departments like those responsible for the USMC Twitter account and the one belonging to the CJCS Adm. Mike Mullen.

It didn't take too long for the military to also realise that as well as getting their side of the story out as quickly as possible in an effort to prevent misinformation, that overall public perception of the them was now more favourable with this level of apparent transparency and communication being increased through social media outlets.

However, recently some clown told UNETIDA's director, Air Vice Marshal Davenport that it would be a great idea to get someone engaged in operations to get on the Twitter and tweet about anything and everything since public perception of an organisation that operates globally with almost unprecedented autonomy using technology acquired from "strange sources" and has been responsible for the "disappearance" of people who get too close to the truth was at an all-time low.

When I concluded my weekly report to the director on Friday he told me he was very happy with this blog but voiced concern that I was not able to take the time to update it as often as I had been due to the time constraints of ongoing operations, additional commitments to the Corps and studying for my TLS examinations. So I couldn't blog about everything that needed attention drawn to it and he asked if that concerned me. I told the director that while it didn't concern me so much that I didn't get a chance to blog about things, it did on the other hand worry me that people were watching events or reading the news without having my opinion to guide them through the proper way of thinking about something.

The end result of that conversation was a direct order to open a Twitter account and make sure people are not left in the dark about anything again even if they only benefit from 140 characters of my wisdom - is it not better than nothing at all?

Follow me @whoppercreedon


Civilian Overseer said...

Bargh!, Colonel, you can't keep anything to 140 characters.

Lieutenant General Creedon said...

It will be the greatest challenge of my life.

vaughan said...

OH jeezuz the colonels on twitter , thats it , get the guns , it's the end times! What stunning 140 pieces can we expect...

"Polishing my weapon!"

"I Like guns!"

"Dammit when did the phantom menace 3d queue start?"

"Does anyone know how to remove those stubborn stains out of shrapnel proof underwear?"

Constance said...

'course he can Civvy:




Anonymous said...

Twitter. You better not divulge secrets or plans. You do know they'll track where you've tweeted from, do NOT tweet whilst on mission.

Even though I'm anonymous, you know who I am.

Civilian Overseer said...

Anymouse, are you the Colonel in disguise?

I could just attack the bunker's computer systems to get your identity but that would be unsporting. So give us a clue, I don't want to have to make the Colonel rebuild another system. Let Bellophron be the last of the Colonel's systems to suffer such a fate.

Lieutenant General Creedon said...

@ Vaughan: Yes he is. And you won't find any inane rambling that constitute 90% of Twitter postings either.

@ Constance: I hope I will be somewhat more articulate than that. The content may be the same but delivered more eloquently.

@ Anonymous: Somehow I doubt my career would have survived this long if I went around breaking OpSec protocol at any chance I had.
Do I?

@ Civilian Overseer: No they’re not.

That was you? Bastard!

Civilian Overseer said...

Colonel, Who me?, na, I'm just fucking with ya... or am I fucking with you now?


Civilian Overseer said...

Colonel, one thing that I am still puzzled about is how exactly was a man like you "forced" into tweeting?,

Did someone hold a gun to your head, slide a keyboard under your rigid hands, cock the gun and hissed with rancid breath into your ear, "Now Tweet!"
Sobbing, you unfroze your fingers and clattered out an inane message about "having toast with marmamlade for breakfast, Yum Yum!", as fat globular teardrops ran down your face. Excellent crooned your fetid breathed tormentor "now add a smiley face to show them you mean it", shuddering you complied and immediately felt dirty.

Was it something like that? ;)

Lieutenant General Creedon said...

One of the things you learn before you're given the "butterbars" of a Marine Second Lieutenant is that with those shiny gold rectangles comes awesome power to be used wisely and carefully. Every time you make a suggestion to a subordinate and assuming said subordinate is properly trained, they should perceive your suggestion as an order regardless if it is an actual order or a simple suggestion.

This conditioning is necessary and adopted at all times so that during the heat of battle you will be used to follow everything your commander tells you to do and obey without fail unless the order is unlawful.

Conversely, you should follow the suggestion of a superior as if it were an order to you. So When an officer holding the equivalent rank of a 2-Star general suggests you begin "tweeting" you don't ask "why?" or "about what?", you just do.

If you've read any of my tweets you'll know they're of vital importance to "our kind" as opposed to telling you what I'm eating and this trend will not be deviated from.

Constance said...

Civvy! Such language coming from a gentleman! My poor eyes.

Civilian Overseer said...

Colonel, sounds pretty much like the scenario I described.

Connie, Gentleman?, moĆ­?, with my reputation? ;)

Constance said...

What? was that an incorrect assumption? I mean, the Queen let you into her country and everything!

Civilian Overseer said...

Connie well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. ;)