US Army Special Operations Forces

4th Military Information Support Group (MISG)

The 4th Military Information Support Group (MISG) remains the active Army’s only military information support operations unit.  MISG was formerly the 4th Psychological Operations Group (Airborne) ak.a. 4th PSYOP Group (A) or 4th POG.

The ranks of the 4th MISG include regional experts and linguists who understand political, cultural, ethnic and religious subtleties. With functional experts in all aspects of tactical communications, the 4th MISOG offers joint force commanders unmatched abilities to influence target audiences as well as support to U.S. diplomacy.

4th_MISG_602672165The unit is based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and is a part of the United States Army Special Operations Command. The 4th POG was constituted November 7, 1967 in the Regular Army as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Psychological Operations Group. Activated December 1, 1967 in Vietnam. Inactivated October 2, 1971 at Fort Lewis, Washington. Activated September 13, 1972 at Fort Bragg.

Military information support operations are a vital part of the broad range of U.S. political, military, economic and ideological activities used by the U.S. government to secure national objectives. MISO is the dissemination of
information to foreign audiences in support of U.S. policy and national objectives.

Used during peacetime, contingencies and declared war, these activities are not forms of force, but are force multipliers that use nonviolent means in often violent environments. Persuading rather than compelling physically, they rely on logic, fear, desire or other mental factors to promote specific emotions, attitudes or behaviors.

The ultimate objective of U.S. military information support operations is to convince enemy, neutral, and friendly nations and forces to take action favorable to the United States and its allies.

Military information support operations support national security objectives at the tactical, operational and strategic levels of operations.

A Psyop leaflet drop.
A PSYOP leaflet drop.

Both tactical and theater-level MISO may be used to enhance peacetime military activities of conventional and special operations forces operating in foreign countries. Cultural awareness packages attune U.S. forces before departing overseas.

In theater, media programs publicize the positive aspects of combined military exercises and deployments.

In addition to supporting commanders, MISO units provide interagency support to other U.S. government agencies. In operations ranging from humanitarian assistance to drug interdiction, Military Information Support Operations enhance the impact of those agencies’ actions.

Their activities can be used to spread information about ongoing programs and to gain support from the local populace.

History

On 21 June 2010, an announcement was made that the military intends to rename psychological operations, or PSYOP, to Military Information Support Operations. The decision, made a few days earlier by Admiral Eric Olson, Commander, United States Special Operations Command and Army’s Chief of Staff General George Casey, was propagated through a memo dated June 23, 2010.

Organization

4th MISG currently consists of a headquarters company and three regional military information support battalions (or MISBs). The 3rd MISB, which was formerly a part of the 4th MISG, is currently a separate unit directly subordinated to the Military Information Support Operations Command (Airborne) (Provisional) and provides both the 4th and the 8th MISGs with radio, television, digital-audio-visual and print assets for developing MISO products such as leaflets, posters, handbills, newspapers, radio and television broadcasts.

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