Posted on Aug 29, 2015
CPT Intelligence (S2)
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In my time at Fort Bragg, I've noticed that we are severely lacking in the way we use recent technologies to make us more efficient. After visiting Grafenwoehr, Germany, I've seen some great systems and applications of things like mobile technology, apps, and websites that save time and increase the accuracy of information.

This allow units to focus more on conducting good, realistic training and less time on creating and briefing PowerPoint products, digging for information, and failing to use time efficiently because training is poorly coordinated and resourced.

The TAP IN program at Grafenwoehr is an excellent example of a smart tool that does just this:
http://www.eur.army.mil/JMTC/armyrangemapper.html
https://armyrangemapper.eur.army.mil/tapin/tapin.aspx

One current project of mine is planning an upcoming Battalion Ball. Rather than running around with clipboards and envelopes, I'm working on a webpage that allows soldiers to buy tickets, choose their seats and dinner options, and coordinate carpools or reservations to stay at the venue overnight, all from their phone or computer.

We have the technology to create almost any information system imaginable--how else can we use it?
Posted in these groups: United states army logo ArmyTechnology Technology
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LTC Stephen F.
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Thank you CPT (Join to see) for providing the information on the TAP IN program at Grafenwoehr. I don't think we could create almost any information system imaginable yet:-) There are many bright people out there who are on our side and unfortunately some no so friendly and others are our enemies.
Creating "secure" smart technology is critical for both protection of "our" information systems and information technology in general - defensive protection, information analysis, presentation and storage, and even offensive information technology.
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MAJ Intelligence Officer
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I applaud you, LT, for trying to integrate technological solutions when appropriate. Unit balls are a perfect example of something for which most of the effort could conceivably be done electronically.

As for the larger question, "smart" technology has one crucial Achilles Heel: most of it is actually pretty dumb, it just does one task particularly well. What ends up happening is that you have a situation in which the so-called "smart" tech turns out to be lacking in other aspects. Sometimes that's tact**. More often (and more importantly), it's security.

There are a number of issues that need to be addressed in order to allow a system to go live. From a military perspective, lapses in security are critical, and because security vulnerabilities are often under the radar until something big happens, the military acts overly-cautious. Unless/until we crack the nut of properly securing an ecosystem of varied smart apps and devices, it's always going to be a challenge to get them adopted widely. Here's to hoping, though... ;)

** As a CPT I had a Soldier who got a notice on her phone that results were ready for pickup on an STD-related manner -- fine, unless it comes in right when everyone's returning to the gear drop at the end of a PT session and it gets accidentally seen by others, which is what happened. You may say that's not the tech's fault, but social awareness is a responsibility of the developers that often gets ignored. A notice simply that you had an important message and to log in to see it would have saved that SPC quite a bit of trouble, including with the relationship she had with another Soldier who assumed it meant she had a disease rather than that she was clean and getting tested for his sake. Her STD test was also now known throughout the unit, which caused harassment problems.
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PO1 William "Chip" Nagel
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I was blessed to have served in the "Naval Security Group" or No Such Agency however you want to call it with a big military government allowance that let me play with the newest, biggest, greatest toys. Also served on 2 Staff Commands CINCPACFLT and COMSPAWARSYSCOM (Ungodly Budgets) and got to work on the ARPANET/MILENT Project which we are using right not to Converse Using Tricks that I started with in 77.
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