My former employer, the U.S. Army, has published a new version of AR 530-1, which covers operational security. Actually, if my memory serves me correct, 530-1 has always existed, so this new AR is probably an addendum to the old one. The Army loves doing addendums.
Nothing in the new AR is surprising in the least, and it’s just an official declaration of what I realized over two years ago — that the days of unfiltered, completely honest voices blogging from a warzone are over.
The surprising thing? The new AR not only requires commander approval before posting blogs, but also for personal email messages. And the new rules apply not only to soldiers, but also to civilians working in Iraq and family members of soldiers. Which means no more blogs written by burdened wives who’ve been kept apart from their husbands for 13 months and need an outlet to blow off some steam.
It’s not like we, the current and former soldiers who participated in blogging, didn’t see this coming. You can see references to my chain of command spotting my writing in the Letters From Iraq e-book, which contains all my old blog postings from my tour of Iraq.
There’s a lot of noise going around that the actual AR file is blocked off to most people under the Army Knowledge Online site. I can verify that it’s true — I still have my AKO access, and I logged in to see if I could get a copy of the AR for posting here. I can view just about every AR (that’s Army Regulation, by the way) under the sun, but this one requires “special registration”, so my request for access was sent off to an administrator. I’m sure they’ll wonder why someone who is no longer in the Army is trying to access a hot document, but oh well.