352 days to wonder what on earth USAISC finds so interesting on my blog that they stay here for HOURS every day.
No, I never was naive enough to think that my blog would not be noticed. When I started this blog, CJ’s experience was part of my risk assessment for writing this. This blog is being mirrored on the Des Moines Register site, where the PAO hosts her blog, pretty much so the 103 ESC would find out about my blog. Just the same, I am amazed at how much time the USAISC folks spend here every day. I hope I’m enlightening to your mission, and think it’s funny that I am now part of the chatter that they monitor, since they have nothing better to do. Where is Osama Bin Laden again? I hope someday my blog makes the Blogosphere and Social Media weekly report. That would be such a special gift from my Big Brother.
I am a private citizen. I am not a member of the service. I have taken no oath of enlistment. I have no obligation to the United States Army. As a private citizen, I am not required to obtain permission for writing a blog, nor am I required to notify the unit that I am blogging. I am not bound by any Army policy or regulation regarding blogging. I am not subject to UCMJ. It is my right as American citizen to publish my thoughts and feelings. I consider writing this blog an employment situation. However, since I am not getting paid, my writing of this blog also falls under volunteer activities. My husband has nothing to do with this blog. He does not know the password. He has no control over what I publish here. I do not clear my posts with him before I make them. Any action taken against my husband due to this blog, of which he has no involvement other than as a reader, would appear to be in violation of the following Army policies.
4–18. Employment and volunteer work of spouse
a. The Army affirms the rights of a spouse of a Soldier to pursue and hold a job, attend school, or perform volunteer services on or off a military installation. No DA official will, directly or indirectly, impede or otherwise interfere with these rights. Moreover, no DA official will use the preferences and requirements of the Army or any other DOD component to influence the employment, educational, or volunteer service decisions of a spouse. Neither will such
decision of a spouse, nor the marital status of the Soldier, affect, favorably or adversely, the performance evaluations, assignments, or promotion opportunities of the Soldier.
(1) In discharging their responsibilities, members of military promotion, continuation, and similar personnel selection
boards are prohibited from considering the marital status of a Soldier, or the employment, educational, or volunteer
service activities of a Soldier’s spouse. AR 135–155, AR 135–205, AR 140–158, and AR 600–8–29 provide specific
policies governing board conduct.
(2) Personnel decisions, including those related to the assignments of Soldiers, will not be affected favorably or
adversely, by the employment, educational, or volunteer services activities of a Soldier’s spouse, or solely by reason of
a Soldier’s marital status. AR 140–10, AR 614–30, AR 614–100, AR 614–200, and AR 690–700 provide specific
policies. Exceptions may be—
(a) Necessary to alleviate the personal hardship of a Soldier or spouse upon the request of the Soldier concerned,
such as when a family member requires specialized medical treatment or educational provisions or similar personal
(b) Needed to facilitate the assignment of dual-military couples to the same geographic area.
(c) Required by law, such as instances in which a prohibited conflict of interest may exist between the official duties
of a Soldier and the employment of the Soldier’s spouse. DOD 5500.7–R provides specific policies.
(d) Made by the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness), with the concurrence of the General
Counsel, on a case-by-case basis, for reasons of national security, that marital status is an essential assignment
qualification for particular military billets or positions.
(3) Performance appraisals on Soldiers, including officer and enlisted evaluations reports, will not contain any information regarding the employment, educational, or volunteer service activities of the Soldier’s spouse, or reflect favorably or adversely on the member based solely on the Soldier’s marital status. AR 623–1, AR 623–105, and AR 623–205 provide specific policies.
b. Violations of this policy provide a basis for disciplinary action under the UCMJ in addition to appropriate
3–19. Comments about marital status and spouse
a. No evaluation comments, favorable or unfavorable, will be based solely on an NCO’s marital status. For example,
“MSG Doe and his wife make a fine team,” or “As a bachelor, SFC Doe can quickly react to his unit’s contingency
missions,” are not permitted.
b. Evaluation comments will not be made about the employment, educational, or volunteer activities of an NCO’s
spouse. For example, “Mr. Doe’s participation in post activities is limited by his civilian employment,” or “Mrs. Doe
has made a significant contribution to soldier morale by her caring sponsorship of the hospital volunteer staff,” are not
c. There are limited circumstances, involving actual and demonstrable effect on the rated NCO’s performance or
conduct, when comments containing reference to a spouse may be made. These comments must be focused on the rated NCO’s actions, not those of the spouse. For example, “SSG Doe continued outstanding, selfless service, despite her husband’s severe illness,” or “SGM Doe’s intemperate public confrontations with his wife were detrimental to his status as a noncommissioned officer,” are permitted.
3–29. Comments About Marital Status and Spouse
a. Any evaluation comments, favorable or unfavorable, shall not be based solely on an officer’s marital status. For example, “LTC Doe and his wife make a fine command team,” or “As a bachelor, MAJ Doe can quickly react to this unit’s contingency missions” are not permitted.
b. Evaluation comments shall not be made about the employment, educational, or volunteer activities of an officer’s spouse. For example, “Mr. Doe’s participation in post activities is limited by his civilian employment”, or “Mrs. Doe has made a significant contribution to soldier morale by her caring sponsorship of the hospital volunteer staff” are not permitted.
c. There are limited circumstances, involving actual and demonstrable effect on the rated officer’s performance or conduct when comments containing reference to a spouse may be made. These comments must be focused on the rated officer’s actions, not those of the spouse. For example, “CPT Doe continued outstanding, selfless service, despite her husband’s severe illness”, or “COL Doe’s intemperate public confrontations with his wife were detrimental to his status as an officer” are permitted.
I also feel the need to quote another piece of legislation.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
If any action is taken against my husband due to my activities here, that WOULD very much constitute government censorship of my speech. It is becoming more an more common for people to consider blogs to be a form of the press. I am also using this blog to petition my government for redress.
I take full ownership of my words. I actually don’t like using a pen name, but am for the protection of my husband’s career, and for PERSEC reasons as well. Any action taken against my husband due to my blog will responded to. If you don’t like what I am saying, read my words, hear my concerns, and make changes accordingly.
I have published nothing in regards to the mission of the 103ed which cannot be found elsewhere on line. Examples are:
- The fact that the are going to be in Balad in July is easily found on an OFFICIAL ARMY WEBSITE. This page was posted on February 19, 2010 long before my husband knew he was going and months before this blog opened. This same information has been reproduced on several other blogs and information web sites.
- A power point detailing the mission
- Media coverage of number of troops being sent here here and here. These sites also detail where the 103rd is going, and when they are getting there.
- An official Army video with a shorter number of days to return than the one I’m using. (Again, my countdown comes from the orders read in public at the Hail and Farewell.) PS: Can we get the orders amended to match the number of days used in this video @2:18?
Trust me, if I with a very cursory Google search can find these, so can the bad guys. If the military did not want it known where they are going, how many soldiers are going (something I have not addressed on this blog until this post) and when they were going to get there, it wouldn’t be on official Army web sites.
If the leadership of the 103rd ESC cannot handle one wife telling her side of this deployment, than the 103d ESC is in serious trouble. Rather than go after me, perhaps you should go after soldiers posting movement details on their Facebook Status as your unit moved from the US to Kuwait. Maybe the 103 ESC need a lesson on not to post on facebook “Hey we are heading to Iraq” when the time for movement arrives. Rather than seeing me as hostile, see me as one person who will tell you openly when the Army is screwing up. Also know that if I am raising concerns, other spouses are as well. It is very rare that one person is the only one with the same problem.
So Hi to my Official Army Readers! Thanks for coming. Installing the hit tracker helped me figure out why I was getting hits but no comments. I have no idea what you spend so much time here doing, but pull up a chair, have a cuppa, and make yourself at home.