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Author Topic: Another Ethical Delimma (not like Ian's)  (Read 1678 times)

dmotcm1592

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Another Ethical Delimma (not like Ian's)
« on: January 27, 2012, 04:57:54 PM »
I am on active duty in the National Guard working in the retirement services field. My site is all about translating retirement information from military (bureaucratic) speak into simple English. All of my sources are military regulations, public law, and other easily accessible sources. At the moment, I'm simply trying to build an audience and everything is completely free. Eventually, I would like to monetize the site. I figured the best way to do this would be sponsorships, maybe CDs of the podcast episodes, and selling eBooks composed of compilations of articles, and the like. The podcasts I produce and the articles I write for the site (as well as the list of sources I used for both) would continue to be free to all visitors. They would only pay for the books, CDs, and sponsor products.

My concern is whether there is a conflict of interest with my being an active duty soldier working in this field and with making money from a site dealing with the same information. Do you think I could face potential complications from higher ups in the future?  :-\

Thanks in advance for any advice you may have.

Josh

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Re: Another Ethical Delimma (not like Ian's)
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2012, 08:50:46 PM »
As a soldier in the AGR program, I feel your pain. My experience is that you can do what you're talking about without crossing any moral or ethical lines.

But to answer "could you face potential complications from higher ups"? Hell yes. You know as well as I do that you don't have to do anything wrong to piss off the brass. Their resistance isn't any different than resistance you would get from any other source. But they have a much bigger influence on your life than a manager at a typical white collar job.

Trying to start your own business and create independence from the military... that's way too outside the box for most military minds.

Like I said at the beginning, you can do everything that you said w/o breaking any rules, but I would still keep it hush-hush just to avoid the headaches.

Ian

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Re: Another Ethical Delimma (not like Ian's)
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2012, 08:02:54 AM »
I don't have a military perspective, but I don't see how there could be an issue with what you're doing. Seems to me that doing it as an active duty soldier gives you more credibility, not a conflict of interest... ???

Chair-Force

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Re: Another Ethical Delimma (not like Ian's)
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2012, 09:41:21 AM »
I don't have a military perspective, but I don't see how there could be an issue with what you're doing. Seems to me that doing it as an active duty soldier gives you more credibility, not a conflict of interest... ???
Ian, blogging is almost always frowned upon in the military. Active Duty and Active Guard Reserve give up some freedom of speech rights when they sign that contract so sometimes these things are a fine line. Then again, you could be perfectly within the regulation but some higher-up may want to rain on your parade and it's not worth the battle.

This is why I only post pictures (I triple check each picture to ensure it doesn't give away any sensitive info) of my current deployment and I don't talk about it. It's not worth the headaches as Josh stated.

To the OP, if you are really concerned about it and serious about making this a business, I'd contact a civilian lawyer who specializes in the UCMJ or was a JAG before. It's probably going to cost a some kind of money but it will definitely protect you in the long run. I'd avoid asking a JAG in your home unit for obvious reasons.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2012, 09:45:07 AM by Chair-Force »

Madman

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Re: Another Ethical Delimma (not like Ian's)
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2012, 01:32:57 PM »
I recommend you expand some what and include a lot about transitioning into civilian life. Perhaps some jom finding advice or reviews on different places to live. You do interviews with recent retirees and employers

Josh

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Re: Another Ethical Delimma (not like Ian's)
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2012, 06:09:29 PM »
blogging is almost always frowned upon in the military.

They are driving my crazy! They don't understand the "blog" is a format! The most powerful military in the world is run by people who can't program their own DVR! So frustrating.

You're not only going to fight power-mongers. You'll be battling ignorance.

But if you think it's worth doing, do it. I am.