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Care to Write Army Doctrine? With ID, Log On

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posted on Aug, 13 2009 @ 10:36 PM

New York Times
Join the Army, where you can edit all that you can edit.

In July, in a sharp break from tradition, the Army began encouraging its personnel — from the privates to the generals — to go online and collaboratively rewrite seven of the field manuals that give instructions on all aspects of Army life.

The program uses the same software behind the online encyclopedia Wikipedia and could potentially lead to hundreds of Army guides being “wikified.” The goal, say the officers behind the effort, is to tap more experience and advice from battle-tested soldiers rather than relying on the specialists within the Army’s array of colleges and research centers who have traditionally written the manuals.

“For a couple hundred years, the Army has been writing doctrine in a particular way, and for a couple months, we have been doing it online in this wiki,” said Col. Charles J. Burnett, the director of the Army’s Battle Command Knowledge System. “The only ones who could write doctrine were the select few. Now, imagine the challenge in accepting that anybody can go on the wiki and make a change — that is a big challenge, culturally.”

Sounds like a good thing to me. People who are actually out there doing things talked about in these manuals can go and change what the manual says from something that works on paper to something that works in real life. According to the article there hasn't been much activity though. Might be worth at least checking out for anyone here in the Army who wants to add some sense to these manuals.


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