Noise and Light Discipline

CJ Grisham has been a popular mil-blogger. He was one of the earliest active duty troops to start blogging about what life in the service during the Global War on Terror was like.

He blogged about what his service was like, and he blogged about what his life was like. He earned influence in the mil-blog world. He has twice been invited to the White House to discuss mil-blogging and its significance.

But now, a spat he had with civilian bureaucrats in a local school district, compounded by some idiocy in the Army, he’s seen his blogging brought to an end, his personal life disrupted, and his military career jeopardized.

As a show of solidarity, many mil-bloggers are going to protest his treatment by boycotting blogging, either for the day, or for the remainder of the week.

First, milblogs are facing an increasingly hostile environment from within the military. While senior leadership has embraced blogging and social media, many field grade officers and senior NCOs do not embrace the concept. From general apathy in not wanting to deal with the issue to outright hositility to it, many commands are not only failing to support such activities, but are aggressively acting against active duty milbloggers, milspouses, and others. The number of such incidents appears to be growing, with milbloggers receiving reprimands, verbal and written, not only for their activities but those of spouses and supporters.

For once, we have a good reason to skip a day of posting.  CJ has some daunting legal issues facing him, and paying the legal bills on a Master Sergeant’s pay isn’t easy. If you are inclined, you can pitch in here to help.

Grisham Legal Fund
c/o Redstone Federal Credit Union
220 Wynn Drive
Huntsville, AL 35893
Please write “Grisham Legal Fund” in the memo line if you use this option.

As Lex says, “The battle for freedom of speech and the marketplace of ideas is fought on many fronts and in many ways. Without your help, the battle may well be lost.”

A Partial List of Participating Blogs:

Laughing Wolf
Hugh Hewitt
This Ain’t Hell
Castle Argghhh
Boston Maggie
Miss Ladybug
Hooah Wife
Kiss My Gumbo
Some Soldiers Mom
Assoluta Tranquillita
Knee Deep in the Hooah
Soldiers’ Angel New York
Drunken Wisdom
Grim’s Hall
From my position
CDR Salamander
Confederate Yankee
Chromed Curses
Homefront Six
Pvt Murphey’s Law
Delta Bravo Sierra
The Sniper
Another Voice
Support your Local Gunfighter
Knottie’ s Niche
Great Reader JihadGene
America’s North Shore Journal
The Mudville Gazette
The Dawn Patrol

Update: Welcome, Instapundit readers. Please poke around, but more importantly, go visit the other mi-bloggers above and think hard about helping CJ.

Update 2:

I’ve written to the Garrison Commander of Redstone Arsenal, COL Robert Pastorelli. If you care to write him an email, his address is:

Here’s the text of my email:

Dear Sir,

I’m writing to let you know of my displeasure with your treatment of one of your soldiers, MSG CJ Grisham.  As you know, MSG Grisham became involved with a dispute with members of the local civilian education establishment. In an apparent pique, those civilians contacted his chain of command to express their displeasure.  My understanding of the matter is that when his company commander was first contacted, he responded in an appropriate manner. If the civilians thought his behavior was threatening, they should contact the police. If not, he had nothing further to say to the matter.

Sadly, you became involved in the matter, and did not conduct yourself in a way the reflects credit upon you as a leader or a commander. Army Times reports that you used your position as his superior to chastise him for expressing his concerns in a public forum. Indeed, the Army has for 30 years trumpeted the need to care for Soldier’s families, and yet when one of your Soldiers tried to address a critical issue for his family, you took steps that have jeopardized his career.
According to The Army Times:

In the weeks that followed, Grisham says, Redstone Arsenal garrison commander Col. Robert Pastorelli and Command Sgt. Maj. Rickey Cooper repeatedly called him on the carpet, ordering him to remove posts.

I’ve heard that one of the posts you ordered removed was the video of a meeting with the local school board, which provided evidence that MSG Grisham was not only not threatening, but was in fact being threatened and bullied.

I would appreciate your thoughts and comments on this issue, specifically:

  • Under what regulation or authority did you order MSG Grisham to remove or edit posts?
  • Which posts did you order MSG Grisham to remove or edit?
  • Why you, the Garrison Commander, rather than his parent unit commander, undertook these steps.
  • What are the results of the IG investigation into MSG Grisham?
  • Who ordered MSG Grisham relieved as a First Sergeant? Was it you, or his parent unit commander?

I’ve posted a copy of this letter to my blog. If you wish, any response you provide will be posted, unedited, in order to provide you with a forum to discuss this.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.


Art Barie

25 thoughts on “Noise and Light Discipline”

  1. been there done that… got the reprimand. never use your real name, never talk about your job.. etc..

  2. All you all are doing is proving CJs bullies right – that with the right amount of pressure and bullying you can shut all dissent down.

    I believe there should be another way to get the message across other than silence. Like getting more Instalanches and arguing more about freedom of speech in a more public forum.

    Remember the old adage, “Silence equals consent?” I see that perfectly here. Don’t let the so-called liberals (or anyone else who can’t just ignore what’s being said) win.

  3. ATL, I’m afraid I disagree. People have blogged about this for weeks and it didn’t pop up in the mainstream blogosphere. But taking a day off? It’s getting a lot more notice.

  4. You folks have no idea how much I appreciate the backing y’all are giving CJ. Thank you!

  5. xBradtc, you are a true friend and soldier. Thank you for bringing this to the forefront.

    I sent an email to the addy you listed and copies to a few old contacts I had left. . Actions like this from the upper echelon of the Army are shameful. Coercive tactics such as the ones used by COL Robert Pastorelli. leave a very bad taste in the mouth.

    Now more than ever, we need the voices of our military personnel to be freely spoken and written. It is wrong on so many levels for the military to kowtow to pissed off local-yokals because they do not agree with a military blogger’s opinion. COL Pastorelli needs to find his cohones in his wife’s purse.

  6. Just a clarification: CJ was not removed as 1SG over this school uniform issue. I’m not sure the garrison command was involved in the blog issue earlier this year connected to that event.

  7. Ms. Ladybug, thanks for the clarification. Do you know why he was removed as a 1SG?

    As to when the COL Pastorelli became involved, that seems unclear to me. That’s why I wrote him.

  8. It saddens me to hear that our military protectors are so maltreated by their CO’s when there are many of the public that high respect. I hope this CO gets his own come uppance.

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