Home / Culture and Society / Science and Technology / How To Write A Military Blog

How To Write A Military Blog

Please Share...Print this pageTweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook0Share on Google+0Pin on Pinterest0Share on Tumblr0Share on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

At Milblogging.com we claim to be the world’s largest index of military blogs – searchable by a variety of attributes – providing an unprecedented depth of information necessary to find your favorite milblog. But we just don’t allow any type of military blog to be added to our database – here’s a list of rules we suggest all military bloggers live by (humor only).

I. In your blog profile, there’s no need to disguise your name. Don’t try and describe something you’re not. If your blog name is CombatKillah or SouljahHard, and your job on deployment is to cook or listen to the radio in the JOC all day, change your name to DoughBoy or JocRoach. You should be proud of your role in the military. Readers want to hear “How to serve Boiled Hot Dogs 10 Days Straight”. You’ll be on Technorati’s Top 100 before you know it.

II. Soldiers, sailors, whoever – there’s no need to write dramatic tales about doing nothing. Even I’m guilty of it. Unless you survived the Battle of Fallujah or some other major attle, don’t belittle other historic events by talking-up your walk from your hooch to the latrene as you IMT in three to five second rushes. Trust me, readers back home aren’t going to turn to your blog as a daily source of the real war. If you’re blogging from Fort Pickett or some other base in the States and you haven’t been deployed, don’t waste your time. Do you really think readers care?

III. Don’t milblog just because others are doing it. Just because you’re good at one thing, doesn’t mean you’ll be good at another. Take the hint. When your site meter reads 12 visitors in the last six months, unplug it. That, or start writing about something more interesting. If you failed English in high school and you don’t know how to use spellchecker, you should spend your time doing correspondence courses, not milblogging.

IV. Don’t tell readers about military plans. It’s worse than treason. You should be punished. Having your blog shutdown and crying over it will be the least of your worries. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, don’t blog at all. For milbloggers that do all kinds of secret squirrel stuff and remain anonymous, it’s not too hard to reveal the source. The blogs usually look a little like this: ckljlutio: I’m sitting in Andar, tomorrow we plan to air assault in at approximately 1430 zulu, grid coordinates Uniform Alpha…(blah blah blah). It’s only a matter of time before someone important figures out who you are. Remember, Military Intelligence.

V. Stop complaining about the military in your blogs. This is the lowest form of milblogging there is. Sure, the chow sucks at times. It’s hot. I know. It’s fine to complain about simple things. Besides, you’re in the military, get over it. At least for the next 12 to 18 months.

VI. Don’t use milblogging as the only method of communication with family and friends. It does happen. E-mail them once in awhile. Pick up a damn phone and call your spouse or your kids. It is more human to hang-up the phone on them when you get sick of them talking than it is to avoid them by blogging.

VII. Be heard. Storm a hill. Save the day. Rescue a local. Find Osama. But don’t be stupid and put yourself in harm’s way to improve the traffic to your milblog. I guarantee the soldier that finds Osama, the number of visitors will skyrocket, even if they’re sitting at home on R&R. Simply being a milblogger in Afghanistan should be enough to get people back home to read your worthless milblog.

VIII. If you’re told by your leadership to stop blogging because you violated some rule, then stop. Three-year olds and rabbits learn their lesson when they touch a hot stove. Blog about something else going on in your life. Then again, if you’re milblogging from Iraq or Afghanistan, you really have no life.

IX. Simmer down. You might be a direct line to an American serviceman for the public back home, but don’t think you’re Geraldo Rivera as an embedded reporter. If you have enough time to blog every minute of the day, then trust me, your job on deployment isn’t that interesting. No one can milblog all the time unless they’re sitting behind some desk. Don’t overkill. You’ll just end up giving the few readers that you have an aneurysm.

X. Trying to raise donations using stupid ads or those god-awful t-shirts on your milblog is about as useful as raffling off your own poop to earn a buck. Only about .000000001% of visitors to your blog are retarded enough to click on the advertisement for “Literacy in Cambodia”. And why would anyone want to buy a t-shirt with your blog name for $19.99, when they could buy a name brand shirt for the same price from Macy’s.

XI. Don’t just put references to other milblogs in your milblog as a substitute for writing. Do you think the readers are that stupid? They’ll figure out that you have nothing to write about soon enough.

XII. Don’t overdo the banners. Banner this. Banner that. Meters. Ads. Blog rolls. And so on and so on. If you’ve tried all this crap and no one is reading your blog – you know what time it is? Yes, I’m guilty of it to. Possibly pushing the envelope. Too many banners, ads, meters.. some readers would probably love to bash my head in with their mouse. Your readers want to send you hate mail, but they can’t find your email or a way to contact you because of all the crap in your milblog. It’s a technique, that’s all.

XIII. Stop whining about the war or being stop-lossed. Granted, it’s your right to express your beliefs especially about up-armor, but when your blog reads: “Why are we here? We need a new President! I was stop-lossed Waaah! We’re not making any progress [type other rhetorical political comments]”, it’s boring and annoying. Suck it up.

XIV. Never ever ever ever, post more than 4 or 5 milblogs in the same day. Even that’s pushing it. Your readers will know you really don’t do anything of value in the desert, besides milblog.

XV. You’re not Shakespeare. You know who you are. Your blogs read like this: “As I sat their pondering over my green lettuce with tiny little dew drops on each leaf, and red juicy tomatoes sliced in perfect little circles…” Say what you want to say. It’s quality not quantity. I’d rather see a picture of your puke than read another long drawn out entry about crap.

XVI. You don’t have to post your pictures all over your milblog. Are you in love with yourself? Here’s me standing next to the latrine. Me, in the gym. That’s me standing in the desert. Me again, doing nothing. One or two pics is fine of yourself, but you’re not Brad Pitt or Cindy Crawford in uniform. I assure you. Do what other soldiers do, post your pathetic pics on Hot or Not to raise your self-esteem (or in some cases lower it).

XVII. Stop with these hazy excuses for not milblogging like “On Mission”, “MWR Down”, “Op Sec”, or a full page of ambiguous nonsense which makes readers feel like you’re blowing them off. If you caught dysentary by drinking the local water and you have a nasty case of the “runs”, that’s okay, let the readers know. They worry. If you don’t feel like writing, be honest. Ignoring your supporters back home is worse than taking a picture of your butt and posting it on your blog.


Powered by

About Milblogging.com

  • Amanda

    I don’t have a blog but I’m a long time reader of them, especially the milblogs and I think they do a great service to this country discounting some of the garbage by the MSM. I have a little issue with your site though. One of the Milblogs I’ve been reading is the Mudville Gazette (www.mudvillegazette.com) and apparently they seem to be breaking a good part of the rules you describe here. Especially rule XIV, linking more than 4 or 5 milblogs. They list many in their Dawn Patrol all over the world. They’ve even linked your blog many times when you were in Afghanistan. Blackfive (www.blackfive.net)lists many milbloggers as well, but neither use it as the base content of their blog.

    Also you claim to be the largest index of the military blogs, when in fact, it is Greyhawk at the Mudville Gazette, the creator of the MilBlogs ring, that has the largest index of approx 550 (over the course of this war), but there are only 354 active in his ring, (according to his ring page). I think credit should be given where credit is do.

    This part of Rule # II :
    “If you’re blogging from Fort Pickett or some other base in the States and you haven’t been deployed, don’t waste your time. Do you really think readers care?”

    Well I care, I would’nt discourage any milblogging. Many have great insight on what it’s like in basic training and every day life in the military that helps us as civilian to understand and maybe even join. Also, those in LA became a welcomed voice on the hurricanes. Milblogging isn’t ALL about the war.

    I don’t mean to discredit your site, I think what you’re doing is great and the Milblog community deserves all our attention and respect, I just think the corrections should be noted.

    Thank you for your sevice.

  • As a MilBlog reader I have to take exception to II and X.

    II – this one is highly subjective. If it’s cleverly written, even a trip to the latrine can be entertaining. In fact, I’d much rather see a witty latrine trip story than a plodding description of yet another weapons cache discovery.

    X – why not try to earn a few dollars with your blog? Lord knows our military personnel could use the money. Banner ads are indeed pointless, but a clever T-Shirt or sticker or other item might be worth selling. Folks in the military can have good, marketable ideas too. It’s at least worth trying, and if no one buys what you’re selling you’re not out any money – assuming you use CafePress or something along those lines.


  • JP

    Amanda. First, you must be one of my loyal readers (along with kid who played Webster and Punky Brewster), so I thank you.

    Second, if you read closely, I claim to be “the largest index of military blogs – SEARCHABLE by a variety of attributes”. I appreciate what Mudville has done. But trying to find the right milblog is next to impossible using their ring. Plus, they’ve been around for 4,567 years and still only list about 500 because it requires a PHd to get listed with them. YOu have to slap a 20×30 matted sized finish logo (that points back to them) in order to get approved. I list everyone without requiring them to learn HTML, Java, or whatever confusing language just to be heard. And yes, I will trounce Milblogs in the number of listings in a few short weeks. I will TROUNCE. My site has only been online about 2 weeks.

    Also, I’ve allowed Mudville to be listed in my index. They won’t even respond to my emails now. If they’re the voice of the American Warrior, why won’t they publish a small blurb about Milblogging.com on their site?? Hmmm. I wonder. I’ll give you a moment to chew on that.

    I agree. Milblogging isn’t at all about the war. Have you gone through the index??? There’s lots of sites listed that are written by mothers, daughters, retired veterans, etc. I don’t discriminate.

    And the Rules are for Humor only. And i disagree. No correction is necessary. I appreciate your feedback. But I loathe sites that require you to stand on your head, chew gum, and master Calculus, just to be put on some list.

    THat is all. THanks

  • JP

    Dave, we could argue about every line. I imagine you never read my original blog. It was humor only while on deployment and garnered attention, but I had to shut it down because too many readers statesde have no sense of humor (Amanda included: ZING). You were right about the latrene story – boy, do I have some good ones on that.

  • Ah, but I have a sense of humor, so it wouldn’t have bothered me. Not sure if I read your original blog. I have used milblogging.com to find some interesting sites, though.


  • Amanda

    All webrings require a banner that links back to them, however I just checked and Mudville points to a milblog home page, not directly to their site which most other sites I’ve seen do. They link many that are not in their ring they don’t limit to just their ring members.

    I’m really surprise and disappointed that you loathe a site that brought you readers you probably wouldn’t have if it wasn’t for them. That’s how I found you.

    TROUNCE? That’s rather smug of you considering you’re seem to be piggybacking off the hard work of others.

  • JP

    It’s a shame. So many of you (AMANDA, there, I said it) don’t have a sense of humor. I love Mudville. They’re even in the Top 10 on Milblogging.com. So, what? I can’t run a competing site unless I pay Homage to Mudville. NO WAY! I was milblogging long before they discovered me, and yes, I am grateful they linked my original milblogs at times. But do I owe them anything? No. I guess I must caveat my columns and comments with (HUMOR ONLY), because some of you (AMANDA, yes, again) have no sense of humor.

  • JP, you’re going to need to attach a “laugh track” of sorts to your posts. Maybe just insert (LAUGH HERE) every so often. Otherwise, some people will NEVER get it.

    Hey, Mrs. Greyhawk linked this post! I love both your sites.

  • As a milblogger, great job JP! Milblogs are finally noticed by Blogcritics! I would have to add I’ve broken most of your rules at various times and places. Still looking for Osama though.

  • JP – Great rules, and I mostly agree. I’ve been guilty of several violations.

    I like blogging – even from deep in the Rear, here at Fort Knox – because it’s helpful for me to get thoughts down in writing. I write for a living, and blogging is a chance to do it without the day-to-day constraints that come along with writing stories about the “Post’s greatest DFAC award” and “General Hanrahan’s retiring” in AP Style.

    Anyway, if readers stop by and read, great. If not, I don’t really care all that much. I’m not getting paid for blogging, which is pretty liberating: I’m not obligated to please anyone.

    Thanks again for the milblogs service, and keep up the good stuff.

  • MCH

    Re comments #2 and #5;
    Why are you commenting here, Nalle? You’ve never served in the military?

    – MCH, USN ’70-74

  • MCH, becaus Nalle never served means he has no opinion???

    Fine, from now on you are not allowed to show up at abortion threads. You never had an abortion so you can’t have an opinion.

    You cannot show up at Gay Marriage threads. I assume you are not Gay so you can’t have an opinion.

    You cannot show up at Music threads. You are not in a band so you can’t have an opinion.

    You cannot show up at Supreme Court threads. You are not on the Bench so you can’t have an opinion.

    I can go on.

  • LL

    I see you’re back to tweaking tails and irritating the masses with your unacceptable form of humor. Woot!! Gotta love it!!

  • MCH


    Just the fact that you would compare enlisting and serving in the military – where there’s the possibility of being killed in combat – with “abortion, gay marriage, the supreme court and music,” indicates how little you know of what you write…

    Just stick to playing war games on your X-box, OK?

  • MCH, little as I want to agree with Anthony le Petit, he did NOT compare military service with abortion, gay marriage, the supreme court and music. He simply took issue with you for telling Dave Nalle he had no right to an opinion on military blogging because he hasn’t served in the military.

    And, in my opinion, he was right. If you can block Dave’s commentary on this topic because of non-enlistment, you certainly have the same lack of rights to comment on topics of which YOU have no direct experience.

  • MCH


    Actually my intentions have never been to block Nalle, or Grande, or Bobby (RJ) Elliott, or any other non-veteran for that matter, from posting military opinions;

    Only to remain remindful of the fact that action speaks louder than words, and these guys constantly and vociferously “talk the talk” without ever having “walked the walk”…

  • This is listed as satire.

    So either it’s mislabeled – sort of like the War on Terrorism itself – or the author started out planning to satirize military bloggers but then switched gears (like the u.s. did when it switched nations it was attacking) and didn’t bother to explain what is really going on.

  • Hmm, I just went to a military blog i check sometimes – blackfive, which says it’s won awards- and it has like 10 links to other mili blogs violating one of your rules.
    The link is here

  • >>Only to remain remindful of the fact that action speaks louder than words, and these guys constantly and vociferously “talk the talk” without ever having “walked the walk”…<< I'll put my words up against your actions any time, MCH. There's a lot more to having a meaningful opinion than what you do - what you think is pretty damned important too. Dave

  • I hope the author of this item comes back to read the responses at some point.

  • Hmmmm, Scott. Are you happy now? I’m here. Uh, once again, this was a “humor column”. I wrote this while I was in Afghanistan (blatantly violating many of these rules) and pounding down MREs in the field. Being a jackass online, was my way of coping with deployment. Blackfive? Yeah, I know him quite well. And, if you’ve ever read his milblog, you would’ve seen some references to my old milblogs (now defunct). Opinions are like (well, you know), everyone’s got one. Nalle and all, you’re always welcome to comment here or on Milblogging.com! Cheers!

  • It seemed pretty serious for a humor column.

    But thanks for returning and explaining.

  • To bash the ailing equine one more time: While the perspective of serving military may differ from that of civilians, given an equal ration of information on the topic, service in the military does not confer any special cachet to opinions on military action.

    In fact, there is something to be said for the opposite: the intense and close involvement of the serving military with an action may actively prevent forming a rational opinion. (That’s rational in the sense of unemotional.)

  • DrPat – too many big words. You need to dummy it down…

  • I linked to a military blog meme today even though I’m a war critic. The cause seems good.

  • I know writing is hard.

  • Military News