The Army is mobilizing — in a 21st-century kind of way.
Soldiers armed with smart phones are finding new ways to fight and subsequently
redefining the battlefield. They can share intelligence and translate
languages with what amounts basically to the common cell phone.
Controlling fighter jets, tanks, missiles and machine guns is another way to use the devices, Col. Motes said. Smart phones also could be used for facial recognition to spot enemies and fingerprinting to identify prisoners.
“All that technology could easily be put into a phone,” Col. Motes said.
Field tests show that popular consumer mobile devices, such as the iPhone and
Android, are durable enough to withstand the rigors of combat. Many
soldiers already bring their phones overseas and keep them anywhere
they can find a spot — strapped to their arms, legs, helmets and
“The soldiers, they protect these phones like they’re a weapon,” said Col. Marisa Tanner, chief of the doctrine, organization, operational architecture and threat division at Future Force Integration Directorate at Fort Bliss, Texas. “They’ll have it on their bodies at all times.”
The trend is becoming so popular that there is talk of issuing a smart
phone to each soldier at enlistment. That vision is still a few years
away, Col. Motes said, but the Army already has started the process by setting a goal of giving phones to some soldiers by the end of the year. Story Continues →