This Friday we’re featuring the world of MilBlogs, along with a few of my favorites.
MilBlogs, short for Military Blogs, became known a few years ago after Greyhawk, an active duty military member, launched The Mudville Gazette. Over time, more bloggers joined in and began talking more openly about the world inside the military.
The first military blogger that actually caught my eye was LT Smash, now known as the Indepundit. Lt. Smash (now Lt. Commander Smash) is a Navy Reservist in San Diego who wrote openly about his experiences while deployed to Kuwait to support Operation Iraqi Freedom. He’s continued to blog about political and military affairs since his return from his overseas stint.
Smash introduced me to Neptunus Lex, at the time a Commander on the USS Constellation, also homeported in San Diego. Since promoted to Captain, Lex is considered to be the highest ranking active milblogger currently. Lex writes frequently of politics, terrorism, and life as an officer and an aviator in the United States Navy. And make sure you don’t mention F-14s when you comment there… he’s an F-18 pilot :)
Reading Lex also led me to Chapomatic, at the time a Submarine Officer in the United States Navy assigned to an Expeditionary Strike Group in the Atlantic Fleet. Chap is now a staff officer for the United States Strategic Command in Omaha. A scholar of the first degree, his posts and links are always worth reading.
An United States Army company 1st Sergeant when I first began reading him, Sgt. Hook has since been promoted twice – to Sergeant Major and now to Command Sergeant Major. I began reading his blog prior to his company’s deployment to Afghanistan after 9/11. Hook is currently transitioning to his next post. Let’s take a look at one of his posts about the early days in the Army:
‘€œHello ladies, welcome to Alpha Company, First of the Thirty-Ninth Infantry Regiment, Fort Dix, New Jersey,’€? he calmly said with a warm smile and caring eyes.
We were thirty-three young men from all walks of life and all parts of the country, all with shaven heads, packed into the light blue school bus each with a duffel bag full of stuff that had been issued to us just hours before. It was hot inside the steel bus as we nervously sat, all eyes on the tall black man with the pencil thin mustache and wearing a very large brimmed brown Sam Bowie hat standing in the front of the bus, forward of the yellow line. He had stepped inside through the folding doors as the bus came to a stop in the mostly empty parking lot. He leaned on the bar closest to the front most seats as he spoke.
Last, but not least, is former Army Captain Blackfive, one of the most popular milbloggers. Blackfive is based in Chicago now working in private industry – and has a few guest bloggers who write regularly at his blog. Blackfive is one of the men and women that have done the most to promote milblogging as a way for active duty soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines to tell their story…
There are many others…
Many of the best milblogs have gone silent. Some because they chose to, others because of command pressure, many others because they came home from the war and moved on with their lives. You can find many others by visiting Mudville Gazette’s Home of the MIlBlogs.
Interested in seeing your blog or blog community highlighted here? Drop us a note at tips [at] blogmedia [dot] biz.
Matt Craven is the former editor & publisher of The Blog Herald. Currently, Matt is the co-founder of Bryghtpath LLC, a consulting practice located in Woodbury, Minnesota. Matt's presently looking for new blogging gigs. Ping him at matt (at) bryghtpath dot com. You can follow him on Twitter.