Blending 70s and modern tech
Posted by jripslinger
While I was looking for sources for my article that discussed the military’s use of emerging communications and technology, I found this article from the Duffel Blog, which is the military’s version of The Onion.
The article, “Navy Issues Tablets to Prepare Sailors For Careers Working With 1970s Electronics” isn’t wrong. In fact, the system I was trained the maintain, the AN/SLQ-32, was developed in the 1970s.
Duffel Blog “quoted” the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Mike Stevens: ““This is a cost effective way to replace the two books we issue at boot camp and it will also streamline the training process so recruits can spend more time folding clothes.”
Also true. And yes, I spent a lot of time in boot camp folding and ironing clothes. These mundane tasks are given to teach recruits to pay attention to details. Most of boot camp is designed around that purpose, actually.
However, while issuing tablets to Navy recruits can generate some funny stories, it signals a huge change in the service: audience analysis. Military service is often categorized by blind obedience, but the Navy is moving away from that philosophy. Leaders are encouraged to explain the “why” behind orders. And the military is creating training methods and knowledge management systems that mimic the devices and apps digital natives are already familiar with.
When the news about Navy boot camp issuing tablets to recruits, I joined in the ribbing around the ship that new recruits were spoiled. However, reading the story again through my technical and professional communication lens, I can appreciate Stevens’ revolutionary idea and I applaud him for making it happen. Because several of his salty peers would have dismissed the idea the way I originally did.
In addition to looking at new technology, I also examined the military’s use of social network sites. Overall, the military encourages servicemembers to use social media for its positive benefits, like keeping in touch while deployed. The military has even created its own knock-off version of Facebook. YouTube, Blogger, and Wikipedia. However, the military is still working on negating the negative aspects of social media: OPSEC violations and harassment.
Speaking of OPSEC. Check out this sweet declassified report I found.
Finally, I examined how technology was changing warfare tactics. I found a source that talked about Russia spending a lot of money to create #fakenews when it annexed Crimea in 2014. #shockedsaidnoone
However, #fakenews will be an issue for incoming servicemembers because multiple researchers found today’s students aren’t very good at discerning fact from fiction online.
Overall, I assessed the military’s use of technology and emerging communication methods as on the right track but with room for improvement.