A British army commander will tweet updates about life in the military while serving a six-month tour of duty in Afghanistan. It’s an unlikely task considering the life-and-death security issues involved.
The soldier is Lieutenant Colonel Dougie Graham, and he commands the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland — a sizable force of 450 soldiers. He’s currently in talks with his own commanding officers to work out exactly what he can and can’t include in his Twitter () updates.
The battalion actually already has a Facebook () page, so social media isn’t a new thing for them, but Graham hopes that a frequently updated Twitter account will help connect him and the men and women serving under his command with their families back home.
Telegraph, our source for this story, quotes Graham saying, “I would like to be able to give people a feel for the reality because it’s not all fighting, it’s not all bombs and bullets.”
Military officials around the world are understandably concerned that soldiers could create risks for themselves, their campaigns and others should they inadvertently share information on social media that would be useful to enemy forces. But the initial concern has been easing up lately.
The United States military recently reversed a general ban on social media that was imposed by certain branches such as the Marines. There are myriad caveats and potential exceptions, of course, but it’s a step for soldiers who want to stay in touch with friends and families while fighting abroad.