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Military Connection: Carter urges military to create its own social media

Military Connection: paper

By Debbie Gregory.

Corporate America may have taken the lead, and the military is ready to follow. With a number of large organizations are spending millions of dollars to create their own Facebook-style systems, Defense Secretary Ash Carter says the military should look into building an internal social media platform.

Carter, taking a page out of LinkedIn’s book, feels that a professional networking site would transform the way jobs are assigned and how troops are evaluated.

Today’s so-called millennial generation is the most tech-savvy generation ever. Many young recruits join the military to gain further technological expertise. But they are surprised to find that the cutting-edge technology used in war-fighting operations doesn’t extend to the administrative side of the military, which is old, outdated and paper-based.

But building this new system from scratch would be a massive undertaking, especially since the current system is a total mess, due to the dozens of aging, independently developed computer systems that cannot be easily merged or searched collectively.

For military personnel and leaders alike, a technological upgrade would impact the quality of military, based on who stays and who leaves

Complications aside, the idea of the system is generally accepted as much needed. The Navy has provided a “wish list” to a number of tech companies that includes:

  • Have a mobile app for smartphones.
  • Consolidate information from more than 40 databases currently in use by the Navy personnel system.
  • Improve evaluation of senior leaders by analyzing the retention and career success of the troops under their command.
  • Provide real-time reports.
  • Help training instructors identify trends and weaknesses.
  • Help target stress-reduction and morale improvement efforts in order to predict when and where to apply resources.

The ultimate goal of the future system will be the ability to compile and track 4,000 to 6,000 pieces of data on each sailor, a Navy official said.

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Military Connection: Carter urges military to create its own social media: By Debbie Gregory