The very foundation of what we do depends on trust, and trust depends on the treatment of all Soldiers with dignity and respect by fellow Soldiers and leaders. Without this, our profession is placed in jeopardy, our readiness suffers, and our mission success is at risk.
The sentiment conveyed above is enduring; it epitomizes core Army values. In an age where electronic communication is commonplace, it is critical to ensure that dignity and respect is maintained offline and online. A harmful communication sent from behind a screen does not trivialize the behavior; the consequences of carrying out acts which flout Army values are the same regardless of the domain—cyber or face-to-face—in which those acts occur.
“It is relatively easy to hurt others when their suffering is not visible and when causal actions are physically and temporally remote from their effects.”2 This is a key reason why Army leaders need to understand how to manage online misconduct. To carry out their responsibilities, leaders need unambiguous and comprehensive regulatory tools at their disposal which they can apply consistently and confidently.
On 25 July 2018, the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army circulated an All Army Activities (ALARACT) message providing guidance on online conduct applicable to all members of the Army.
[All Army Activities Message, 058/2018, 251301Z Jul 18, U.S. Dep’t of Army, subject: ALARACT Professionalization of Online Conduct [hereinafter ALARACT 058/2018].]
Read more at the Army Lawyer.