THE PENTAGON — Sgt. Maj. of the Army Ray Chandler announced this week that senior enlisted personnel would be rated on their ability to police online social media activity, in what many are nicknaming the "Facebook bullet" on the non-commissioned officer report (NCOER).
According to senior defense officials, raters would evaluate exactly how many hours NCOs spend in chatrooms, Facebook pages, and scanning Twitter accounts looking for soldiers posting inappropriate memes, jokes, or using naughty language.
The changes were made as a way to inspire NCOs to emulate the online heroics of 1st Sgt. Katrina Moerk, who recently received the Army Commendation Medal after initiating three separate SHARP investigations when she spotted an online video where male soldiers did not act like perfect gentlemen while speaking about a female in the barracks.
“What really made the decision easy for us, was the overwhelming support 1st. Sgt. Moerk received from both the online and military communities," Chandler said. "It proved that there was a real desire by our leaders to clean up the filth that pervades the internet, and hold soldiers to the same standards expected of them at work in their online lives.”
The award Moerk received did not come without controversy however. Most combat-experienced soldiers expressed outrage that she did not receive a higher award, such as the Distinguished Service Cross.
“Unfortunately, we just couldn't get her a higher award," Chandler said, while also noting that a petition had been started to possibly get the award upgraded to at least a Bronze Star. "Moerk went above and beyond the scope of her duties to ensure the internet is a safe, clean, and morally correct place for all races, religions, creeds, and sexual orientations.”
At press time, Duffel Blog had obtained a draft presentation of the new NCOER requirements, which included the addition of mandatory SHARP, Equal Opportunity, Online Presence, LGBTQ Understanding, Freedom from Tattoos, and Overall Sensitivity inputs along with room for a single comment to summarize the entire performance and abilities of the rated soldier.