The Air Force's rules of engagement for blogging


45 Responses to “The Air Force's rules of engagement for blogging”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Do I get paid $0.50 for posting pro-USAF comments on blogs?

    I’m so glad my company isn’t like that! I’m working with the USAF right now, and became a huge fan of the planes ( I especially like the full touch screen display and html web browser. It’s awesome!

    Where’s my $0.50?

  2. IamInnocent says:

    Like any plan, it’ll hold only until the first salvo of ‘facts’ flies.

    The most I hope from the American army is that it will force whoever they command to give me the kiss of death to brush their teeth.

  3. dwes says:

    Please, since when has responding with the facts ever solved anything on the web?

  4. arkizzle says:


    When the AirForce came out with “Above All” there was great likening to “Ãœber Alles”..

    Fun was had :)

  5. Anonymous says:

    I think this actually explains the process many of us have already internalized. Well done, Air Force…

  6. jjasper says:

    All anyone needs now is a list of Air Force “facts” that really aren’t then they can make AF blog responders run in circles.

    Extra bonus points if you can find a bit of Air Force “fact” that’s contradicted by another existing Air Force “fact”. Super extra bonus if you can get two separate Air Force Blog Command ™ members arguing different sides of the same argument in two separate blogs, then introduce them to each other.

    But in case any Blog Command members are reading this, please don’t bomb my house!

  7. Rindan says:

    I don’t actually find the flow chart offensive. Mildly stupid? Sure. It isn’t all that offensive though. It basically states:

    If you see something we like, yell w00t.
    If you see a troll, ignore it.
    If the person seems posting misguided bullshit, respond.
    If a person is just unhappy, figure out why.
    When responding, tell them that you are air force and try and not sound like a jackass.

    It seems like sound advice.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Seems like this could be a flow chart for responding to any blog post.

  9. Anonymous says:

    The US Air Force was founded in 1983 by Wendell Wilkie. The men (women are forbidden in the air corps) are proud of the heritage in apiary science. The reason you hear about “B-2″s and “B-17″s and such is that is how many live bees the aeronauts must wear inside their uniforms on particular missions.

    Silence from the US Air Force will of course mean they approve of this post.


  10. Anonymous says:

    There is no “No” after final evaluation, so I guess they don’t really have a choice about “Will you respond?” then?

  11. arkizzle says:

    Foetus, Unter Alles, nice!

    JimH@36, thank god for the pedants, I will support your cause ’til death.

  12. Ugly Canuck says:

    Not a bad decision tree.

  13. Anonymous says:


    “The rich heritage of the Air Force”

    Like pushing Evangelical Christianity.

    If you’re talking about this controversy:
    then yes, the USAFA had some problems a few years ago, but the situation was taken out of proportion by a local newspaper, whose articles were picked up by the AP. Take it from someone who knows several USAFA faculty: the new guidelines are some of the toughest in the academic world and make proselytizing or overt religious bias very difficult.

    As for the flowchart, it makes a lot of sense. I wish more people would think of guidelines like this before posting on boards.

  14. Ernunnos says:

    Any Etsy crafters willing to stitch me a needlepoint sampler?

  15. oldtaku says:

    I know some Navy and Marine guys who use gmail or hotmail even for (presumably non-classified) work stuff because if the work email server isn’t being run by them personally then they see no compelling reason to use it instead. And I don’t know if it’s still the case, but historically their huge straining military email system has been pretty flaky.

    As an aside, military IT guys are huge nerds – even huger than normal. A friend calls them ‘The Mormons of IT’. One guy wipes his home machine and puts a new linux dist on about once a week, on his own time, just because he thinks it’s fun. These guys at least are not the kill-hungry jocks you’re thinking of.

  16. Xopher says:

    I actually highly approve of this. It’s common sense among people who’ve been blogging for a while, but a) I assume this is intended for people who haven’t, and b) it helps to have something in writing…kinda makes it something like an order.

    I think the Tone box is basically saying “remember to act like an officer and a gentleman in writing on the internet, as well as in person.”

    I like this flowchart a lot. I keep hearing more good things about the AirForce (yeah, I hear bad stuff too, but I hear more good about the Air Force than about all the other services combined).

  17. Boba Fett Diop says:

    You can also substitute “random Pashtun wedding party” for “the house that the troll happens to be stealing wireless from.”

  18. Man On Pink Corner says:


    I like this flowchart a lot. I keep hearing more good things about the AirForce (yeah, I hear bad stuff too, but I hear more good about the Air Force than about all the other services combined).

    Good work, Airman!

  19. Xopher says:

    Yes, BFD, it’s very important that whenever anyone does anything good we need to catalog everything bad they’ve ever done as well. Otherwise people will think we’re wimps. Can’t have that.

  20. Ted8305 says:

    Interesting. Troll Site -> yes -> Monitor Only might be restated as
    Troll Site -> yes -> LURK MOAR.

  21. Xopher says:

    Um, no, MOPC, I have no connection to the Air Force. They wouldn’t let me join even if I were young enough, because I’m very publically queer and politically active (even my posts on BB alone would count as “Tell”—check them out by clicking my name if you don’t believe me).

    Closest I come to the USAF is that my brother works for a defense contractor. I don’t even personally know anyone who’s in the Air Force, though I know an ex-Navy guy, a West Point cadet, and a couple of former* Marines. Btw none of those are anything other than just-friends friends.

    *”A former Marine is a guy who used to be in the USMC. An ex-Marine is a guy who used to be in the USMC and is a violent psycho.”

  22. FoetusNail says:

    RinDan, thanks for the translation, much easier to understand. Does make a lot of sense, far more ethical than most corporations and political parties.

    Takuan has zero infra-red signature, making him thermally invisible, though sound travels thousands of miles in water.

    Run silent, run deep.

    Takuan Unter Alles.

  23. iddaa says:

    boingboing forever..

  24. acx99 says:

    The Air Force eats babies!

  25. Anonymous says:

    Unbelievable. We pay our taxes for this and much worse.

  26. semiotix says:

    This is actually pretty good, all things considered.

    I wish someone could order me not to engage with trolls.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Why does the Air Force’s informative chart have a contact email at gmail ?????

  28. jimh says:

    I find this offensive. For the love of God, people! When you stretch rounded corner boxes in Illustrator by using one of the handles, the resulting corners look like crap. It’s much cleaner to select the actual points on the sides involved and shift drag them. WE CAN HAS NICE CORNRZ

  29. Boba Fett Diop says:

    This is missing the part of the flowchart that involves tracking the troll through IP address, launching a Predator drone from Nellis AFB, and then using a Hellfire missile with “Suck it H8rz” written on the side to blow up the house that the troll happens to be stealing wireless from.

  30. Doran says:

    “The rich heritage of the Air Force”

    Like pushing Evangelical Christianity.

  31. beekone says:

    “Notify HQ”

  32. arkizzle says:

    It’s actually not that bad. Its not as propaganda-y as I expected, and not even in an unsaid way.. If you take out the ‘airforce’ and ‘heritage’ bits, it’s almost a good go-to guide for staying level-headed in flame wars and steering clear of fundy sites..

    It even covers “don’t feed the trolls”. I’m pretty impressed.

  33. yurei says:

    It’s missing the most important part: the obligatory “And cawks*”.

    *altered to protect the innocent.

  34. Anonymous says:

    So.. is the Air Force supposed to use Gmail for official business?

    Kinda curious.

  35. eustace says:

    Let us ALL adopt this chart! Such nicer intarwebs we would weave…

  36. armundo says:

    What is an “Unhappy Customer” of the Air Force? Would “you dropped a bomb on my house” make for an “Unhappy Customer”?

  37. phillamb168 says:

    Going with #7 @arkizzle here – this isn’t “Air Force,” this is common sense in flowchart form. Replace “Air Force” with BoingBoing, and it still makes sense.

    Although… There’s something missing…

    Ah yes:
    Trolls -> No -> Rager -> No -> Misguided -> No -> Unhappy Customer -> No -> Is the poster’s handle “Takuan?” -> Yes -> Run. Run far away.

  38. bolamig says:

    I learned that the air force thinks timeliness means taking your time. (middle bottom bubble) I hope the air force doesn’t attempt a timely response if I’m in trouble.

  39. lecti says:

    I like how on the left side, the flow chart convention is broken:

    Q: “Concurrence?”
    A: Yes….no, NO!

  40. Shelby Davis says:

    Ah, the lovely-ly quantified world of military protocol! (I’m an AF brat, so I’m used to seeing stuff like this.)

    But, I think someone would do well to modify this into a gen-purpose guide. It seems pretty complete (I might add a “Ensure clarity of respondee” or something. A lot of minor trouble comes from people not identifying whom they are responding to.)

  41. Mathleticism says:

    Some quotes from the Air Force’s site:
    “Above all in the air, space and cyberspace”
    “Air Force technology gives it the power to see and strike across the globe. Discover how the world’s dominant air and space power stays that way.”
    When they say “Above all”, are they referring to ability or authority.

    P.S. A UFO took my cat and I want her back.

  42. Johnny Cat says:

    lmao Phillamb168

  43. kyuzo says:

    @#4 posted by Boba Fett Diop

    Haha! Brilliant.

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