U.S. Army to require soldiers to carry smartphones, but is it smart?
When it comes to defending our country, the deploying soldier must carry an extensive catalog of standard equipment.
First-aid kit? Check.
Affirmative. The U.S. Army plans to order its infantrymen to carry iPhones or Androids — soldier's choice — as mandatory gear, and the Army wants to foot the bill, too.
Updating your Facebook status downrange while streaming Pandora radio on the government's dime? A soldier's life is the life for us! Where do we enlist?
But standby. Perhaps there's more to it than social networking and superfluous entertainment.
"What we're doing is fundamentally changing how soldiers access knowledge, information, training content and operational data," Mike McCarthy, director of the mission command complex of the Army's Future Force Integration Directorate at Fort Bliss told USA Today. "The day you sign on to be a soldier, you will be accessing information and knowledge in garrison and in an operational environment in a seamless manner. We're using smartphone technologies to lead this."
It's not a novel idea, by any means. It merely makes you wonder why it hasn't been implemented already.
Officials told the newspaper that soldiers can use the smartphones to view real-time intelligence and video to track friends and enemies — an invaluable resource during war.
Roger that. But before this lofty digital dream comes to fruition, the Army must ensure that the data transported over these networks is free from interceptors, hackers, and security threats. And, as we civilians inherently understand, that could take awhile.
Should smartphones be officially mandated gear in the armed forces? And do you think smartphones will ever meet the heightened security requirements necessitated by the military communications? Weigh in.
Over and out.