Sunday, April 6, 2008

PSYOP Award – A Needed and Logical Step For the Community

Greetings,

First of all, my apologies to my faithful readers for not meeting my goal of one posting per week. In my defense I started an out of town assignment in mid March working for a Defense Contractor in a non-Defense government organization and have been pretty pooped. The nature of the work requires a minimum of 9 hours on site and the traffic situation involves a 45 minute commute or longer round trip. My personality is adverse to be locked in a windowless cubicle for 9 hours a day.

Having said that, I plan on writing a post concerning the life of a contractor and how it might apply to PSYOP.

On to PSYOP business.

The USACAPOC has initiated a project to develop and present a Regimental PSYOP Award. According to the project officer:
“The intention is to create something unique to the PSYOP Community to build esprit de corps and a legacy for the Regiment. Like the St. Barbara Medal and Order of Cincinnatus, Soldiers would be nominated by green tab leaders in their chain of command and endorsed by their respective Group Commander. The Regimental Commander would be the approving authority and would either present the award himself, or have one of his representatives (or a green tab leader acting in that capacity) do this in a public forum (Regimental Week? Family Day? Holiday Event?). The Commanding General or Group Commanders would authorize events when the medal may be worn (Dinning Inns/Dinning Outs, military balls, etc.).”

My feeling is that the Knowlton award, given out by the Military Intelligence Corps Association is a good model as well. See the next to last paragraph at: http://www.fas.org/irp/agency/army/mipb/1996-4/black.htm.
My belief is that we should name the award after our PSYOP heroes past and present. My personal nominees include (in alphabetical order): Colonel Aaron Bank, COL (R), MG William J. (Wild Bill) Donovan Jeff Jones, and COL (R) Al Paddock. A strong reason to name the award for a living PSYOP hero is to invite them to present the award and to make some comments about the state of PSYOP and their perspective of the future of PSYOP.

This is clearly a noble cause and one which has been overlooked too long. Reader thoughts are invited as comments or feel free to get them to me off line via my personal e-mail or at PSYOPRegiment@aol.com.

1 comment:

MAJ RICHARD B. DAVENPORT said...

I am all about a PSYOP award that is distinctly PSYOP in nature and reflects the unique history of the profession. Esprit de Corps is definitely away to strengthen the PSYOP community as a whole and aids in our ability to conduct effective PSYOP. The mission of PSYOP is like no other in comparison to the predominately kinetic thinkers of todays military and a PSYOP award will aid in strengthening our approach to conducting pure Unconventional Warfare.
One idea to the type of award that I thought of was to have a mini statue of PSYOPers in action. One example would be a Tactical PSYOP Team member using a key communicator to broadcast a message using the Man-Pack Loudspeaker System. It would embody the essence of PSYOP in using a key communicator to get the PSYOP message out to the community in order to effectively accomplish the desired behavior change. Of course a small metal face plate would be added to the statue to capture name/dates for who the award was being presented to etc. Another idea would be to use a PSYOPer handing out leaflets to the populace. Of course the statue would only consist of maybe three individuals of a particular TA to fit the statue.
Those are just a couple of examples, there could be more out there but that is a start to a PSYOP award that would make any PSYOP member proud to receive.
Lastly I think the award means so much more than just to the PSYOP community but to where we stand in the eyes of the military. PSYOP has not truly made it to the forefront as an effective means to approaching warfare and winning battles without fighting. Definitely a Sun Tzu approach but it is just not the American way of doing business. It would take a massive paradigm shift amongst our current strategic thinkers to do so and that isn't going to happen for quite some time. The PSYOP award is just one step to adding to the validity of PSYOP as an effective means to win a war prior to a shot ever being fired as opposed to a means to end wars after they have already started.

“The views expressed in this “insert type” are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.”