ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. —
Personally Identifying Information in Public Affairs ProductsIn the wake of information operations launched by the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL), I have seen a number of incidents where Reservists have requested to have Air Force news stories identifying them by name and rank removed from Air Force public websites and official social media. Additionally, Reservists have expressed reluctance to interact with public affairs and the external media.
The below memo from the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs is clear…”Our mission is to inform and educate as we connect our military with the American people is vitally important, and having our men and women in uniform tell their stories and be identified by their name, rank, job title and unit in articles and photos should remain the general rule.”
The risks associated with being identified in public affairs products is simple to identify and easily exaggerated, but the risk the Air Force Reserve assumes when it fails to aggressively tell the public that we are an integrated, flexible and combat-ready force providing accessible and sustainable capabilities as an Air Force Component supporting our National Security is a threat to our very existence. As Reserve senior leaders, I ask for your assistance in encouraging our Reserve Airmen to actively participate in public affairs efforts.