Special Operations: PsyOps Gets Some Respect


17, 2007:
Last November, the U.S. Army has made Psychological Operations
(Psyops) a basic branch. That means more money and autonomy, and more ability
to develop new tactics and techniques. It also means officers can make a career
of psyops without sacrificing promotion opportunities. Before becoming a
separate branch, officers serving in psyops jobs actually belonged to another
branch, and were not going to get much promotion credit in their branch, for
work done away from the branch. The branch colors are green ("Special Force
Green) and grey ("Silver Grey".) That shade of green honors the origins of
psyops, which was reintroduced into the army after World War II as a way to
establish Special Forces. Neither operation had a lot of respect among the
brass, but that attitude has changed, slowly, over the last half century. The
Psychological Operations Corps is one of the smallest in the army, with fewer
than 8,000 troops. Some 74 percent of them are reservists. Psyops began as the
guys who would broadcast demoralizing radio shows to the enemy, and prepare
demoralizing leaflets to be dropped on enemy troops and civilians. That was
during World War II, and psyops has come a long way since then. Now it's all
about "Information War," and psyops troops have to be into Internet based
media, including podcasts and all manner of mindgames.


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