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UK Army And Social Media - The 77th Brigade

The Digital Army

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The British Army is planning to set up a new unit which will consist of a special force of ‘Facebook Warriors’. The unit will be called the 77th Brigade and it will focus on non-lethal warfare and operate on social media. 

The 77th Brigade will use troops who are skilled in psychological operations, journalism and social media to engage in a new form of warfare in the digital age. The 77th Brigade won’t come into existence until April and it will consist of approximately 1,500 troops who will be taken from across the army, RAF and the Royal Navy rather than be recruited in.

I suppose it was only a matter of time before we reached this point. Everything else is online, and there are armies and terror groups all across social media attempting to control the narrative. As we currently stand, terror groups such as ISIS parade themselves on social media attempted to draw in the impressionable and vulnerable to their cause and to promote violence.

It’s been quite a hot topic. Terrorism on social media, how clever that they’re corrupting our youth and radicalising people. In reality, the only thing that these terror groups have done is use social media. It’s not tricky and they shouldn't be feared for managing to accomplish a very simple task.
Unfortunately, especially in the case of the British army, the online presence of terror groups has greatly out shadowed online efforts as of yet. Hopefully, the 77th Brigade can fix this.

When commenting on the announcement of the 77th Brigade, an Army spokesperson said:
‘77th Brigade is being created to draw together a host of existing and developing capabilities essential to meet the challenges of modern conflict and warfare. It recognises that the actions of others in a modern battlefield can be affected in ways that are not necessarily violent.’
The announcement of the division has been met with some criticism from the army.
Colonel Richard Kemp, a former commander in Afghanistan said: 
‘My view is that this should not be done at the expense of combat troops. Where are these 2,000 people going to come from? They are likely to come from savings made in combat troops. I think that's a mistake. I think the British forces have already been cut far too much in a very uncertain and increasingly dangerous world’
It’s said that the new brigade will be inspired by the Chindits. Who were a British guerrilla force led by Major General Orde Wingate against the Japanese in Burma during the Second World War. Wingate and his brigade were able to gain victories disproportionate to the size of his forces. They were able to do this by adapting new and unorthodox tactics. 
Well, if they can mimic a bit of that through social media I’d consider that a great success. Tally-ho.

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Tom Welby

Tom has a degree in Creative and Professional Writing and now he currently manages, edits and writes for this blog. His other interests include Arnold Schwarzenegger films and his dog. Follow him @TomAtSMF

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UK Army And Social Media - The 77th Brigade Reviewed by Tom Welby on Wednesday, February 04, 2015 Rating: 5
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