Wednesday, June 23, 2010

MISO: Is it soup yet?


With lightning and a clap of thunder from the Pentagon, PSYOP is to be stricken from the Defense system just as the name Moses was removed from the legacy of Egypt. The Secretary of Defense has approved the recommendation to change PSYOP to Military Information Support and/to Operations (MISO). The Army Chief of Staff, General George W. Casey, Jr. has directed his staff to develop and orchestrate a plan designed to replace “PSYOP” with MISO in the Army (and presumably DOD) lexicon and branches.
Photo source: http://www.ecosalon.com/simple-miso-soup/

The name change follows the recommendation of the DSLC or Defense Senior Leader’s Conference. This is a conference co-hosted by SecDef (Secretary of Defense) and the CJCS (Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff). Attendees typically include the Combatant Commanders, Service Chiefs and elements of the Strategic Planning Council. The meetings are held three times a year (Jan, May and Sep) and are executed by the Director, Joint Staff. For some key bullet points on DSLC see: http://hqinet001.hqmc.usmc.mil/dmcs/Routine%20Reports%20&%20Meetings/DSLC.htm.
The name change has been an emotional topic and has been bandied about for years. On the one hand, “PSYOP” has a long and distinguished history with traditions and a nascent branch espirit de corps. On the other, demand for PSYOP forces is escalating and the optempo is breathtaking.
Lack of emphasis of influence operations by senior combat CDR and the bifurcation of PSYOP forces between SOF and Reserve chains of command continues to hobble efforts to optimize and standardize PSYOP training and operations. Key challenges are: elevate the status and importance of information support (PSYOP/PAO) to the force; optimize force development, command and control to deal with burgeoning demand, provide for future conflicts where cyber influence – especially on non-state actors is critical.

Perhaps the name change signals a renaissance of the influence profession and missions.

It is past time for the influence aspect of military operations to assume its rightful role as a leading element in today’s force. This implies strong senior leadership support in terms of resourcing and fast tracking the policy and doctrinal changes that are needed in today’s world.

The name change is a perfect reason for renewed efforts to ‘educate’ Congress on what we do why MISO is an important instrument of government power. As a non-lethal battlefield multiplier MISO can more positively impact world opinion of US efforts than kinetic operations.

As good soldiers we have been given a lawful order and must execute it. We need to put aside any personal feelings we might have about the loss of tradition, and consider how we can leverage the name change and the massive activity that is needed to revise ‘the system’ across personnel, operations, training and logistics required to effect the change.

This is also an opportune time for the re-design of the Information Operations (IO) playing and career fields. In particular the need to integrate PAO and MISO as synergistic tools for the CDR is critical. Renaming and repositioning MISO can be a catalytic process to help foster this process.

All of us in the community need to embrace the change regardless of our personal feelings and use this window of opportunity to strengthen the community – perhaps not so much for ourselves, but for those who will come after us.

52 comments:

Anonymous said...

mee soo confused. what does this do for the Regiment really except make it the laughing stock. Were any PSYOP professionals consulted on this. Any one of them would have told the decision makers that this name is fraught with problems.

Anonymous said...

This is the stupidest thing ever.

Signed,
A Former PSYOP NCO

dogtulosba said...

And like that, I thought we were getting PSYOP'ed. Wow and I sit without a branch...

Anonymous said...

I am glad I got out while PSYOP was still PSYOP.

Another former PSYOP NCO.

Anonymous said...

Thought this was a joke when I heard this... I wish it was a joke now.

Anonymous said...

Instead of PSYOPers will they we MISOgynists?

Anonymous said...

I understand the concept behind a name change, however, MISO is going to do nothing but make unit integration harder. The jokes that are already starting to flow amongst the special operations spectrum are not going to allow us to hold any credibility with any supported unit. If your name sounds like a joke people are going to assume that you are a joke. As I stated I agree with "A" name change but this one I just don't think was thought through enough. PSYOP and Ca have been battling for the bottom of the Special OP's Totem pole for years and this name change just put us at the very bottom. MISO reclassing!!!

Signed,

A current PSYOP NCO

Anonymous said...

Sir,
I found your comments and a photo in your article totally inappropriate and distasteful. I do not understand how changing the name from PSYOP to MISO will remedy perceived or real problem with the organization? Are you going to ask other military organizations, like Special Forces for instance, to give up their traditions? Good training, innovative leadership, and adaptation of learning organization model would make a difference not only is PSYOP, but in other branches of the Army.
v/r
Alex, PSYOP Officer

Anonymous said...

Check got it PSYOP is a dirty word....but MISO....couldn't the top brass come up with something better?????

Lawrence Dietz said...

@Alex,

First of all no one expects a mere name change to do anything on its own. MG Csnrko, CG of SWC issued a very positive memo in which he stated that this move is not punitive but recognition of PSYOP's successes and will enable the Branch to excel more dramatically in the future.

As for my headline and photo, if you have been following the Blog you'd know I try and inject a little humor, capture readers and associate the headline with something visual as a matter of course.

Sometimes my Brooklyn humor misses its mark.

Anonymous said...

A name is means nothing without the actions of the group. Stand behind it, own it (as others have said), and let the work, attitude and professionalism speak for the name. The objective remains the same.
~

Anonymous said...

I think the real problem here isn't that the name is silly. The problem is the name implies a certain scope of operations that is narrower than actual capabilities. PSYOP has suffered from an incomplete understanding of capabilities for a long time, but now that understanding is in the name. Then again, it may not make any difference, since PSYOP units rarely push outside-the-box operations, preferring to stick to the conventional leaflets, billboards, radio, et al.

A PSYOP specialist said...

I'm hoping this is a joke. Please...please let this just be a cruel cruel joke. You've got to be kidding me, right? Oh wait, you're kind of serious aren't you? This is probably the worst possible name they could have picked, right up there next to tinky winky and la la. Hell, you might as well just go ahead and tell us to bend over so special forces can stick it up our ass. I'm sorry, but this is as about as well thought out as a drunken night of sex with a fat girl. I know well that an internet post isn't going to do anything, and you probably won't even aprove this comment, but I'm begging whoever is doing this, from the bottom of my army heart...Stop this madness.

Anonymous said...

And it starts....MISO Hoorny! Operational CDR to Detachment CDR. "Captain, how many TITs (Tactical Info Teams?) do have to support me?". I have a feeling that this name change will turn things from bad to worse and further the exodus of good PSYOP Soldiers. The move from USSOCOM to USARC, (a lack of unified Command)was the Titanic hitting the iceberg. "Every PLT LDR is a PSYOPer nowadays".

Anonymous said...

Well the absolute worse part about this is not the name but the even more blurred lines between us and IO (information Operations), which is at this point in our history is totally misused and misunderstood by 90% of commanders.
If they are Information Operations and we are Military Information Support Operations, our jobs and functions will become more confused with the commanders which we support. This is the last thing that any PSYOPer wants when it comes to job functions.
The head Honchos must re-look the name, I would recommend something along the ways of "Tactical Information Operations". This would keep us tactically minded (amongst the Meat Eaters) while still allowing us to remain competitive within the recruiting pools. Trust me when I say, that we will take a hit on talent because of this!

SS

Lawrence Dietz said...

As you point out,there are two aspects to the "IO" linkage - one is the name confusion and the other is that IO is not a mature component of the warfighter.

Correcting the latter would correct the former - however, that will take a lot of command juice and a willingness to put non-kinetic on the same footing as kinetic -- which I frankly don't see happening any time soon.

Anonymous said...

This comes as no surprise. We began to travel this slippery slope when we rebranded out OpDets as “MIST” teams as to not be so “offensive” sounding when involved down south.

It was a solid strategy. We were not viewed as offensive. Rather, we were viewed as something of a joke by some influential members the target audience for that name change. It certainly put those teams at a disadvantage and was the first challenge to be overcome by the operators before our missions could be accomplished.

Now, I see that the lack of intestinal fortitude that infected those earlier decision-makers has come to affect the current leadership. I certainly hope that they have adhered to their own principles in designing a “PSYOP” campaign considering all target audiences and mission objectives before reaching this decision and that such a decision is not based upon the untested self-assured egos of those who have assumed the command.

Anonymous said...

I agree that PSYOP may have been a little cryptic, but then it would at least give us a chance to explain what we do. MISO leaves other with the impression that they know what we do.
What is missing in all of this is the single thing that makes us unique and critical to IO, which is behavior change. Gathering information, and putting out information are means to our actual mission, they aren't our actual mission. Commanders already have IO and MI, they need to understand we are about behavior augmentation. The commander is one thing, but the actual joes we go out with need to understand that we aren't asking people questions for our own personal curiosity, but to save their lives.
If you hear MP, MI, IO, CA, SF, etc... you have a sense of their purpose. MISO, even when spelled out, doesn't do that. In that sense we can't even get our figgin name right, and putting out info. that can be understood by an audience is what we are supposed to be able to do!!! The enemy doesn't give a shit what we are called, this is for the joes we support. In the army all that matters is if something sounds cool.

PSYOP (MISO) SGT

Anonymous said...

If it wern't so sad it would be laughable. I worked for over 10 years in PSYOP which was under USASOC. Now our TIT's (Tactical Info Teams) under MISO work under USARC. Who was out there fighting for PSYOP and what it stands for?

Anonymous said...

Yes we were invited to provide input last year. My input was to not use the words "Military" or "Information". Of course it was ignored. Why not Military? We already know we are in the Military, as does Infantry, SF, Rangers, CA, Artillery, PA, etc. The only people I know of that use Military are MP and MI. We should most definitely avoid the word "Information" because it is already the domain if Information Assurance, Information Operations and Information Technology. Using the word "Information" would require all of us (formerly known as PSYOPers) MISO-ites to KNOW the capabilities of these other information disciplines, in order to explain the difference. Add that to the inherent cost to the taxpayer of the name change and you have a veritable debacle.

Anonymous said...

Only one thing to be said about this...FUBAR.

Anonymous said...

I was here when 96F became 37F. Looks like I'll be here when it changes to an IO MOS. This is clearly a step in the direction of IO absorbing PSYOP. For several years now, some folks have been using "IO products" to bypass the checks and balances that have kept us from disasters more times than I can count. When the developmental process becomes three guys in a room with a case of Ripit and Division staff on their neck, we will get information that is mis-information and products that are worthless at best and incite violence at worst. Anyone remember Joseph Goebbels?

Lawrence Dietz said...

There are certainly some advantages to being part of a bigger discipline/battlefield system that has won acceptance by senior leaders. If and only if there is acceptance. IO, especially cyber is still a black art to most of the kinetic fighters and the debate of when to use CNO still remains a mystery when it needs to be mainstream.

Clay said...

MISO...what has yet to be explained is how exactly the powers that be plan on incorporating this new plan or even why it was decided the name had to change (as many have alluded, changing a name doesn't change the product). Another good point that was brought up was the behavior change...hence the psychological factor, while technically we use information to influence this behavior, that is an extremely simplistic way of encompassing what we as PSYOPers do. Understanding of what we do has come a long way since the beginning of the Iraq/Afghan war, but we are still very under-utilized and mistaken for IO. Changing our name will undoubtedly hinder efforts of explaining the difference. I will end with a bit of humor..Military information support Company (MISC.)

Anonymous said...

Although I am no happier than the rest with the MISO moniker; we must check our emotions at the door. First, the decision was not to rename the PSYOP force to MISO, it was instead to rename the mission or function to MISO. Any CMF or Branch name change is yet to be decided according to CG, SWCS. If we don't simply whine about this, but argue to Army/SWC/SOCOM that we are the answer to their IO problem, we may achieve growth. We may, even better, solve a problem for the Army and DoD. Has anyone else noticed that PSYOP NCOs are the IO NCOs at every BCT in the Army, yet they are led by FA30s? That G7s are comprised of PA and PSYOP professionals in public / human communication, yet they are led by an FA30 amateur? Army has noticed. Again, I personally doubt anyone wants MISO for a Branch or MOS name, but that is not done yet. What is a good one? What about our unit names? It would be very helpful for us to stop calling everything by the same name. Perhaps we could then expand our repertiore in operations to encompass enabling activities in the information realm, and yet remain credible as a branch and as a force, without being poisonous to those who would endeavour to use us. Just a thought

Anonymous said...

Who was supposed to stand up to the SECDEF and multiple O-10's on this issue when PSYOP is led by a disparate group of O-6's, most of whom want nothing more than a shot at being the first PSYOP GO?

A former PSYOPer

Anonymous said...

My only problem with this, is that they added Info ops to the title, so now when some dip shit BN or BDE commander demands a product created and printed without going through the appropriate approval process, we have now lost the ease of a simple response, "We're PSYOP sir, not IO there is an approval process." Consider us walked all over and fucked in the ass.

Thanks sir,

A SOON to be FORMER PSYOP NCO.

PS, IO = PSYOP guys quit.
thanks

Anonymous said...

PSYOP IS NOT IO, so now that they changed the name to MISO (IO) do we abandon all other missions and just do whatever stupid thing the supported unit commander desires? Leaflet drops in US occupied areas so he can have PAO tape it so he has video to show the guy writing his OER? Someone needs to fix this, because everything and everyone will suffer because of this. Nothing will be the same, and how is this a reward for all of our hard work? I don't get it, and when you ask people why they think its ok, you get cryptic answers, it will not improve our capabilities or improve our ability to accomplish the mission. Nor will it help retain good PSYOPers. PSYOP will die because of this, and the people of the world will suffer. This will leave the hearts and minds of the Iraqi/Afghan people in the hands of the moronic infantry commanders who don't realize things like snatching a mullah or muqtar piss people off. It's done. OVER.

Lawrence Dietz said...

It is a fact of combat life that any support discipline must 'influence' the CDR before you can be a key part of the combat team.

Tim and Kristen said...

MISO will destroy things, next they will be giving the supported unit responsibility for our awards and NCOERS. Then we will have no ground to push back on. The fact that most commanders don't understand the word NO, already makes it hard enough to accomplish our mission. The fact that he will now think that cause we have IO in our name, that that's all we do is print up his command information, which is really propaganda(PSYOP) and needs to be approved. Oh well, I'm quite sure I'm leaving as soon as that start calling us some thing other that TPC, TPD, or TPT, cause anything else, would be demeaning, and demoralizing.

Anonymous said...

IOInformation Operations (IO) has been badly floundering. Indeed, IO which was once the job of the FA-30s (IO Officers) – now has been abandoned. FA-30s now practice IE. Information Engagement (related but distinctly different than IO) bumps up against CA and PSYOP.

So the encroachment of IO on PSYOP continues.

The utter miserable failure of IO to define itself and make a difference has been striking.

The term “MISO” will confuse the uneducated on the differences of IO and MISO.

While the IO bubbas can continue to beat the drum and believe that they ‘own’ MISO… we just need to continue what we have done so well.

Ignore the flailing and floundering realm of IO and continue our missions without their involvement. Never define ourselves in relation to IO. Always inform the community that IO does not ‘own’ us… but is merely a coordinating function (bureaucracy) that has no authority.

We will survive the term MISO unless we let this be a step in sucking PSYOP down the train wreck that is IO.

Anonymous said...

It's a visionary move. Hats off to PSYOP leadership for going for this. You were the biggest dog in this fight, but you saw the light brought on by all your success. Thanks for doing what PA and IO could not do. Now if you can just get those 25V, 25M and 25s and 46s to join in the fun...

JC said...

Wow. This current PA NCO feels for you guys. I know that word choice is important and has both intended and unintended consequences. I would have went with Jedi Mind Trick Masters... something easily understood.

Anonymous said...

This change has everything to do with the fact that PSYOP has done very little to make itself relevant, instead preferring to pretend they are something they aren't and trying to be that thing.

On my lats operational deployment, I did everything I could to marginalize the PSYOP team that was assigned to my unit because they sucked. Our IO Officer (BCT asset) was better than they were. Maybe instead of bitching about a name change meant to better communicate what you guys do, you guys could focus on being good at what you're supposed to do.

Anonymous said...

Sweet Jesus! I just heard this on Fox News. As one of only 13 PSYOPers in the ARNG, I have a huge problem explaining to the dumbass leadership what we do. For too long the "lead-down-range" leaders have decided that since the don't understand IO, PSYOPs, or any other non-kinetic capability, thet they will simply choose to ignore it until they have to at some long-drawn out school! No, I might as well creat a TM on whatever the term MISO is supposed to do to them as well! This was a dumb and poorly though out move. Why not ask us what we want? They sent out a questionaire on suggested new names for USASMA but they couldn't ask one of the smallest MOS' in the Army for what we think might be good? I hope it was one hell of an OEF bullet; hell, I hope they all get DSM's! I for one will leave "PSYOP" on my signature block until the order me to change it!

Sigep_man said...

So, instead of being a PSYOPer, I'm a MISOpath!

Anonymous said...

I think some of us have been staring at goats too long... Well kids, it's been fun.

Anonymous said...

Hate is a powerful word and should be used carefully. Imagine my surprise to come back and find that PSYOP's name has been changed to MISO which is a prefix that means hate in English. As with all responsible PSYOP professionals the first thing I did was research the situation to make sure I wasn't mistaken (I referenced the definition below). I am pretty sure that we can all agree this name change was meant to help us, however, as the sayings goes, "the road to hell is paved with good intentions" and "nothing is more dangerous than a PSYOPer attacked by the good idea faerie".

I strongly suggest that the name gets changed to something better before anti-American propaganda professionals use this to there advantage.

P.S. Can we still use the term 'PSYOPer' as our branch is still named 'PSYOP'?

miso- 
a combining form meaning “hate,” with the object of hatred specified by the following element: misogyny.
Also, mis-.

Origin:
< Gk, comb. form of mīseîn to hate, mîsos hatred Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2010.

A concerned 'TIT' SGT

Lawrence Dietz said...

@SGT, as a student of words, be advised that 'their' is the correct word in this case.

Anonymous said...

And in a last show of weak defense for this maniacal idea, Mr. Dietz resorts to sniping comments to point out the difference between "there" and "their". Personally, I think they should change the name to Psychological Warfare. Also, as a former PA NCO, I worry about Mr. Dietz's comments regarding integrating PAO and MISO. That's crazy. PAO is intended to speak to an American or American Military audience. PSYOP for a foreign audience. And never the twain shall meet.

Lawrence Dietz said...

@ Anonymous, as an alleged PAO NCO you should have checked your facts. The PAO is the Commander's key communicator to and manager of communications with foreign media overseas. While US audiences are indeed a major one for PAOs, they are the lead for foreign media overseas especially in hostile environments. Also yesterday's nutty ideas (e.g. computers in the home) are often today's realities.

Anonymous said...

The name change is really just the latest and most public injustice done to the PSYOP community in the United States Army.

I find it amusing that we are declared so important, yet when it comes to training, equipment, and administration we are chopped up and served as lunch. There was a time when PSYOP was a part of the Special Operations Command. To be fair, it was the soft white underbelly of SOF, right there with CA (Ok, better than CA as we can shoot pretty good, but not by too much). This association with SOF alone provided an excellent tool for recruiting quality Soldiers into the branch.

In recent years, it was decided that the Reserve portion of PSYOP and CA should no longer be in SOF and so were moved to USARC. The active side stayed with SOF, along with their budget and chain of command. While the bifurcated Reserve troops were unhappy about this, despite assurances that it would be better working for people who understood them better (80% of PSYOP is in the Reserves), they had no choice but to swallow their pride and move forward. It came as no surprise when dollars allocated for PSYOP started to flow into USARC and were not spent on PSYOP units.

Since PSYOP is in such high demand, we are deploying Reserve Soldiers at an amazing pace never seen before. I have been deployed three times in five years and I had Reserve NCOs with five tours under their belt (read 5 years of active service in a combat zone). These were excellent Soldiers spread too thin over the bread of responsibility.

The worst part of deployments with PSYOP was that it is now normal to build a PSYOP BN out of Soldiers who come from multiple units across the country rather than one specific Battalion. This was done because no single PSYOP BN anywhere can organically fill its own mission. To use a biblical phrase, we were robbing Peter to pay Paul. To help fill the gaps, Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen were trained up quickly to meet deployment needs. We had newly trained officers who have never done PSYOP a day in their lives filling key positions because there was nobody else to fill them. To say that this makes for a mixed result is an understatement.

So, the majority of Reserve PSYOP units still have limited (and outdated) equipment, limited training, limited personnel and now an identity crisis yet there are people at the highest level wondering why PSYOPers, from the lowest PSYOP Soldier to field grade PSYOP Officers are complaining.

The rose of PSYOP does not smell as sweet when branded with the moniker of MISO. I see my fellow PSYOPers have already outlined several ways to denigrate the name so I will not add to that list.

The name PSYOP did not need to be changed. We have a proud history and it is hypocrisy for someone in the military to say that changing a units name is not a big deal. Our entire organization needs to be fixed from the top down and it could easily be done under the name of PSYOP. A name change only makes matters worse.

A PSYOP Officer

Anonymous said...

The name change is really just the latest and most public injustice done to the PSYOP community in the United States Army.

I find it amusing that we are declared so important, yet when it comes to training, equipment, and administration we are chopped up and served as lunch. There was a time when PSYOP was a part of the Special Operations Command. To be fair, it was the soft white underbelly of SOF, right there with CA (Ok, better than CA as we can shoot pretty good, but not by too much). This association with SOF alone provided an excellent tool for recruiting quality Soldiers into the branch.

In recent years, it was decided that the Reserve portion of PSYOP and CA should no longer be in SOF and so were moved to USARC. The active side stayed with SOF, along with their budget and chain of command. While the bifurcated Reserve troops were unhappy about this, despite assurances that it would be better working for people who understood them better (80% of PSYOP is in the Reserves), they had no choice but to swallow their pride and move forward. It came as no surprise when dollars allocated for PSYOP started to flow into USARC and were not spent on PSYOP units.

The worst part of deployments with PSYOP was that it is now normal to build a PSYOP BN out of Soldiers who come from multiple units across the country rather than one specific Battalion. This was done because no single PSYOP BN anywhere can organically fill its own mission. To use a biblical phrase, we were robbing Peter to pay Paul. To help fill the gaps, Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen were trained up quickly to meet deployment needs. We had newly trained officers who have never done PSYOP a day in their lives filling key positions because there was nobody else to fill them. To say that this makes for a mixed result is an understatement.

So, the majority of Reserve PSYOP units still have limited (and outdated) equipment, limited training, limited personnel and now an identity crisis yet there are people at the highest level wondering why PSYOPers, from the lowest PSYOP Soldier to field grade PSYOP Officers are complaining.

The rose of PSYOP does not smell as sweet when branded with the moniker of MISO. I see my fellow PSYOPers have already outlined several ways to denigrate the name so I will not add to that list.

A PSYOP Officer

Anonymous said...

I find it amusing that we are declared so important, yet when it comes to training, equipment, and administration we are chopped up and served as lunch. There was a time when PSYOP was a part of the Special Operations Command. To be fair, it was the soft white underbelly of SOF, right there with CA (Ok, better than CA as we can shoot pretty good, but not by too much). This association with SOF alone provided an excellent tool for recruiting quality Soldiers into the branch.

In recent years, it was decided that the Reserve portion of PSYOP and CA should no longer be in SOF and so were moved to USARC. The active side stayed with SOF, along with their budget and chain of command. While the bifurcated Reserve troops were unhappy about this, despite assurances that it would be better working for people who understood them better (80% of PSYOP is in the Reserves), they had no choice but to swallow their pride and move forward. It came as no surprise when dollars allocated for PSYOP started to flow into USARC and were not spent on PSYOP units.

The worst part of deployments with PSYOP was that it is now normal to build a PSYOP BN out of Soldiers who come from multiple units across the country rather than one specific Battalion. This was done because no single PSYOP BN anywhere can organically fill its own mission. To use a biblical phrase, we were robbing Peter to pay Paul. To help fill the gaps, Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen were trained up quickly to meet deployment needs. We had newly trained officers who have never done PSYOP a day in their lives filling key positions because there was nobody else to fill them. To say that this makes for a mixed result is an understatement.

So, the majority of Reserve PSYOP units still have limited (and outdated) equipment, limited training, limited personnel and now an identity crisis yet there are people at the highest level wondering why PSYOPers, from the lowest PSYOP Soldier to field grade PSYOP Officers are complaining.

The rose of PSYOP does not smell as sweet when branded with the moniker of MISO. I see my fellow PSYOPers have already outlined several ways to denigrate the name so I will not add to that list.

A PSYOP Officer

Psyop Soldier said...

Psyop Officer,
Your reasoning seems very legitimate, now was there a specific reason to why they are now looking at moving things around and changing commands? or are the top hats just trying to make themselves look busy? I can understand that when unit integration happens for some it maybe hard to communicate the abilities of psyopers but its part of our job and communication skill set to be able to get that information accross to the element CDR.

I am just hoping that the reserve component didn't assist in losing the true meaning or operation of pysop through translation!!!

Anonymous said...

If you have a good idea, please read this first:

I am a 37F, Psychological Operations Specialist. Information Operations is a completely separate function from what I am trained to do. I am trained to relate to the local populace in order to foster positive relationships and to help change behaviors through influential gesture and by also using the truth to obtain the Area Commanders objective's. I am a Subject Matter Expert and I am familiar with local customs and traditions. While deployed as a member of a Tactical Psychological Operations Team, I was involved in over 245 combat missions conducting face-to-face communications with indigenous populations (yes, that means I went outside the wire and supported Infantry operations).

If you want to hand out some unauthorized, unapproved and untested literature or need some kind of stupid survey conducted, I suggest that you become familiar with editing software and find a printer and make some squad leader hand it out while he is on a presence patrol. The good idea fairy is not welcome here. He will be shot and squashed underneath my boot.........MISO is the name of the operation.....NOT MY MOS!!!

Have a nice day,

SGT Stew Pidazhol, Psychological Operations Specialist

Jim McGrath said...

Your picture looks like you have gain a little weight there COL. Too much MISO Soup?

Morstern said...

It is a name change. Get over it. Reading stupid comments that can be sumed up as "whhaaa whhaaa I want'uh a harder sounding name cuz I'm like hard core whhaaaa" really reminds me of how sorry so many of the PSYOP personnel were.

There are always a handful of stars in PSYOP and they can carry the group through the name change.

To the sorry ass people who joined for a cool name, air conditioned environment or some other non PSYOP (MISO) related reason keep you mouths shut as you damage your profession far more than a verbage change does.

LTC Michael A. Aquino (AUS-Ret.) said...

Many years ago I was chatting with the then-VCSA and asked him for a PSYOP Branch. He said, "Mike, PSYOP is vital and we absolutely need you to do what you do, but the less visible and identifiable you are - particularly on the Hill [Congress] - the better. The American people don't like the idea that we do propaganda; that's something that Nazis and Communists do."

I never forgot what he said, and the moment that PSYOP was formally raised to the dignity of a career branch, I could see a name-change coming. For all the reasons other commenters have said, it's a silly gesture, because both we and our adversaries know exactly who we are and what we do. So in Pentagon briefings and "on the Hill" there will be PC MISO Dog & Pony Shows, and out in the real world PSYOP will go right on being PSYOP.

Fellow EFs (Elder Farts) may recall we went through a similar D&PS some years ago, when someone decided the JFK Special Warfare Center sounded way too scary and changed its name to the JFK Center for Military Assistance. That was eventually ashcanned, and I am quite sure this MISO nonsense will be too.

There was an even earlier D&PS in the Army when the Green Beret was considered anathema in the Pentagon and SF soldiers at Bragg and elsewhere were told to take it off. So they did whenever some VIP came to visit, then put it right back on once he left. Finally General Yarborough had the guts to wear it for JFK, and the rest is history. [Now, of course, everyone in the Army wears some flavor of beret!]

So take "MISO" with a sense of humor, powerpoint it for the Brass & the Hill, and keep right on improving your PSYOP skills - which , as the VCSA observed, continue to be vital to national defense.

Anonymous said...

It's a "dog & pony show", alright. Remember how upset the Rangers were at having to 'share' their beloved black berets with the whole rest of the Army? (and now they wear tan berets...)
Yeah. This 'MISO' name change, confusion amongst units, etc. It feels just about as bad to me (as a former PSYOP-er) as the beret thing must have felt to the Rangers (and Airborne and SF, who didn't like seeing the rest of the Army wear any beret).

Mr Dietz is correct that those who are still in are soldiers, and must follow lawful orders, no matter how stupid or disrespectful those orders are. I'm retired reserve, done with the Army, etc-- and the more I see things like this going on, the more I'm glad I got out when I did.

(SSG, USAR, Retired)

M. Glenn said...

I've thought more about this. I'm convinced that whomever pushed for this name change wanted to utterly kill off what was formerly known as "Psychological Operations". Others have already made the relevant observations on the difficulties in explaining to supported unit commanders what we do; in the difficulties in explaining to the Army at large what we do; and in the constant funding and training difficulties (already shafted when they stuck the PSYOP units under USARC instead of leaving us with USASOC).

Now-- the whole entire Army is going to assume we're part of IO. No avoiding it. Going to be harder than hell to escape from that indelible association, and if we can't escape from it, we're going to get rolled into it and denied a separate existence at all, sooner or later.

No, it's not inevitable-- some of you who are still in may be able to successfully fight that battle, but having learned while I was in PSYOP to spot "enemy propaganda"-- I can tell this name is a prime example from enemies of the branch inside the Pentagon.

Still glad I got out when I did-- no offense, guys, but I'm burnt out, I did my time, when I left I was done and couldn't keep doing it anymore-- it's gotta be someone else's fight now, but I wish those of you still fighting the good fight the best of luck.

(SSG, USAR, Retired-- former 37F)

Anonymous said...

are you fucking retarded?! way to go cool guy! is this really appropriate to be putting on this site. now granted, all open source, how much more do we need to publish. way to go jack ass.