Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Answering Some AOFIW Questions

I wanted to answer a few questions that have arrived via various means concerning AOFIW. We have nearly 30 members already and I'm pleased to have Rocky DeStefano and Marc Sachs acting as managers to accept potential candidates.

  • I have never served in the military but I think AOFIW sounds cool. Can I join? A few people have tried to join the group despite having no uniformed military service. We appreciate your interest, but if you have never served in the military of any nation, you are not eligible to join AOFIW.

  • What types of occupational specialties would be relevant (intelligence, sig int/EW, communications, information management, etc)? We use a broad definition for IO/IW that I learned at AIA -- Gain - Exploit - Defend - Attack information. In practical terms that includes generally all Intel and Comm backgrounds. Information management isn't really applicable, unless you can describe how your IM work applied to GEDA.

  • if somebody was InfoOps/PsyOps [in whatever country] back in 70-80s, he might not have touched a computer at all; so are those also your target audience? If you go that far back, but you did IO/IW, you are eligible. People who did electronic warfare in Korea and Vietnam, for example, are definitely welcome.

  • Hello, my name is Staff Sgt X, assigned to unit Y in country Z, writing from email address I don't know anyone in your group but I do (insert various operational IO/IW) in theater. Can I join? Yes. If it is so plainly obvious what you do based on how you identify yourself (basically writing from a .mil address that advertises your name and rank) we will be more lenient with admission. Remember we are trying to ensure that valid IO/IW ex- and current-military join AOFIW, so we are more stringent with the ex- side of the house than we are with the currents.

  • Currents? I thought this was AO Former IW? From the beginning we said "Those no longer in military service are candidates for full membership; those currently serving in uniform are candidates for associate membership." Technically we do not differentiate between the two groups, but at some point we might. If we ever choose to speak as a group, for example, I do not want to be speaking for anyone still wearing the uniform. Politically speaking those in uniform should not be advocating policies. On the outside we have more freedom.

  • AOFIW sounds like a support group. In some ways, AOFIW is. A lot of us struggle to fit in with corporate cultures that clash with the urgency and values we learned in the military. In AOFIW we privately hope to identify ways to influence our commercial surroundings to better improve security where we now serve.

If you have any other questions, please post them here. Thank you.

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