Digitizing Soldiers/Units to victory

The future is bright for the U.S. Army warrior!

"Strength will multiply and decisive action will become possible at the rate which information flows to all concerned"

--SLA Marshall; "Men Against Fire", page 128

"The Mongols, a classic example of an ancient force that fought according to cyberwar principles, were organized more like a network than a hierarchy. More recently, a relatively minor military power that defeated a great modern power--the combined forces of North Vietnam and the Viet Cong--operated in many respects more like a network than an institution; it even extended political- support networks abroad. In both cases, the Mongols and the Vietnamese, their defeated opponents were large institutions whose forces were designed to fight set-piece attritional battles.

To this may be added a further set of observations drawn from current events. Most adversaries that the United States and its allies face in the realm of low-intensity conflict, such as international terrorists, guerrilla insurgents, drug smuggling cartels, ethnic factions, as well as racial and tribal gangs, are all organized like networks (although their leadership may be quite hierarchical). Perhaps a reason that military (and police) institutions have difficulty engaging in low-intensity conflicts is because they are not meant to be fought by institutions. The lesson: Institutions can be defeated by networks, and it may take networks to counter networks. The future may belong to whoever masters the network form."

"Cyberwar is coming" by John Arquilla and David Ronfeldt, International Policy Department RAND

The one main advantage the Active Duty (AD) Army has over the Reserve Component (RC) Guard/Reserve is they "own" their people and can train with them each day. Most of this time is spent trying to get everyone fully informed about what is going on, which is why we write lengthy Operations Orders (OPORDs); basically a mental task. The irony is that in the "hustle and bustle" of the day, the "rank and file" Soldier really cannot stop and think very deeply about what is read to him, and training, and combat readiness suffers. The best time for the Soldier to FULLY comprehend what has been given is later on in his quarters away from all distractions. The reserve component Soldier already has this capability to focus on the mission away from Army demands by his civilian identity.

Thus, if we link the Soldier by a Personal Computer (PC) to his unit by email and to unit web pages on SOPs and Operations Orders, the Reserve component Soldier might actually be more aware than the active component Soldier who is locked into a hectic routine. The "Digitized Soldier" can fully know everything about the modern battlefield and his unit/mission because he can internalize what he sees and cross- reference these things with information on the world wide web (www). Instead of being lectured about the notional enemy with T-72s and BMPs, he can click on a hyperlink to actually see a T-72 with a stabilized turret and laser range finder that can fire on the move after being highly modified. He can see the BMP-3 with its 100mm/30mm/MG armament. Its no longer just "yadda-yadda-yadda" verbage to pad an OPORD, he can see that its all based on real world threats. The Digitized Soldier can network with other Soldiers even miles away and get questions asked/answered and a higher level of understanding created so units PULL TOGETHER with a common understanding or COHESION.

If I had one day every Soldier in the Army I would teach them how to HAND HTML code their own web pages. (Unless of course we had practice rifle grenades and were in a field)...

Most people make web pages through a PROGRAM which ruins the whole flexibility and speed the creators of the www had in mind. Units have web masters when EVERY leader in the Army should know how to simple hand code HTML so they can make their own web pages and communicate on a much deeper level than now--instantly. Instead of OPORDS with "yadda, yadda, they have T-62s with reactive armor" etc. etc. you could have it hyperlinked to someone else's web page which already goes into all the details of it. In other words, the "learning curve" you experienced yourself, you can pass it on to your readers using a web page with hyperlinks, pictures, text and sound, "catching them up to speed" very quickly. There are many free web page hosting services, Geocities is the best, most easiest to understand.

I communicate using hand HTML coding. I can literally "talk" to you with the entire internet at my disposal. If I want to back up a point or show a picture within the text of my email or on a web page. Its really not that hard to do, and if you were interested, you can use this web page I made describing how---you could get all those great insights you have online instead of waiting for a unit web master or post DOIM to do it for you, or a book publisher to print out a book. Books are cool because they build up an author's reputation, are in the PX and should never be stopped. However, someone without high rank, and radical ideas like myself don't get books published (yet). Rather than "throw the towel in" and give up, the web page is a way to make a differance (which is the ultimate goal) and not gain professionally or financially from it.

To get a blue hyperlink you type these commands in between < > brackets, here we used parenthesis instead to disable the HTML commands so you can see them. A web page is like an email, they both use HTML, so we outwit HTML using ( and ) instead of < and >When you want them active, use < and > brackets.


(a href="url you want hyperlinked like http://www.hotmail.com")

2. Then add what you want to call the hyperlink:

(a href="url")click here to see Paratroopers


Then you end it with (/a)

The whole thing will look like this except in < > brackets:

(a href="http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/7963/paratrooper.htm")Click here to see Paratroopers(/a)

When you want it active, put the beginning < and ending bracket > on. These HTML commands will be invisible, so only this will appear to your readers:

Click here to see Paratroopers

My advice to Army schools would be to have students turn in inter-active web pages and not term papers/Master's thesis. An example is Maj (now Col) Michael Kazmierski's CGSC thesis we made into web pages by getting bits and pieces from the CALL data base browser(it wouldn't give us the whole thing):

Another example:

(a href="http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/Quarters/2116/airbornetoc.htm")Airborne warfare(/a)

With < and > brackets appears like this:

Airborne warfare

Or you can put the whole URL/"internet address" in to appear:

(a href="http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/Quarters/2116/airbornetoc.htm")http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/Quarters/2116/airbornetoc.htm(/a)

With < and > brackets appears like this:


or you can use hyperlinks for key word or phrase in a a paragraph:

Maj (now Col) Michael Kazmierski has written a superb (a href="http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/Quarters/2116/airbornetoc.htm")Master's Thesis(/a) on how we need operational maneuver from the air etc etc etc.

With < and > brackets appears like this:

Maj (now Col) Michael Kazmierski has written a superb Master's Thesis on how we need operational maneuver from the air etc etc etc.

So I'd have Army school students write web pages on research topics, "Why tracks are better than wheels" etc., and make them use the www to find reference web pages using Search Engines to back up what they say, creating their own web pages in the process. If there is no web page on a subject say, Rifle grenades then they would have to "lead the way" and be the first. Then, THE ENTIRE THESIS COULD BE IMMEDIATELY PUT ON THE WWW FOR THE ENTIRE ARMY TO LEARN FROM IT. Not come out in fragments as PDF files on a CALL search engine.

I'd have them write digitized OPORDs for training to raise understanding in their subordinates. A sample is here on the digitizethesoldier.htm web page on the http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/Quarters/2116/ web site.

Inter-active Army Training!: take a peek at http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/9063, our Expert Infantry Badge self-train/test web site. Then come back here to finish the discussion!

I could easily see you drawing up maps/diagrams with battlefield situations and having your Soldiers write in how they would solve the problem--A You Decide! Tactical Decision Game (TDG). If all of you were in front of computer screens in a classroom setting you could do it all in "real time". Or students could do it in their Quarters after class hours with their PC. Better, they would draw their own diagrams (save your diagram off the web page as a BMP file and proceed to draw in their Course Of Action) and submit over the www to the web site as a new web page, "Smith.htm", "Jones.htm" and then EVERYONE IN CLASS would be tasked to read everyone else's solution to the problem. In sand table exercise, everyone has to stop and listen to one person at a time give his solution, a bottleneck--usually only a couple get to share their solutions. With a www network, EVERY solution could be viewed by the class, bettering participation and insuring noone "hides" and doesn't participate at all as the more vocal ones take charge. Then as homework, they go to Search engines like Yahoo! and find battles on the www supporting their COA.


The point of quality is that we can keep polishing and improving what we have. When we discover something or think deeper about a subject, we upgrade the specific web page we have on that subject. The web page is like a "weapon system", constantly being upgraded...Sort of like adding on a GPS to it etc. etc. Every leader in the Army in my opinion should have a web site to create his own web pages to be his sort of living "diary" to vent frustrations and more importantly pass on what he has learned to the rest of the Army as he proceeds in his Army career.

Basically web pages are a mirror image of the human mind at work.

What the Army should do is describe the end state it wants its Soldiers and units to arrive at. That should be a Soldier who:

1. Has free, unrestricted communications ability vertically and horizontally with anyone in his chain-of-command without punishment for candor using the unit home page-web site as his rallying point.

Sample unit home page/web site:


The unit home page/web site would have a web page with the email links of everyone in his immediate unit, but would be a hidden web page hyperlink not posted for public view.



2. Receives OPORDS into his personal computer by email (secret) and in training on the world wide web (www) that are fully inter-active:


This inter-active OPORD would fully express the reality of the battlefield and what we want to accomplish on it.

3. Unit drill bulletins, calls for volunteers etc are posted immediately by email and a link on the unit home page reaching everyone in the unit, saving long distance phone charges and mailing costs of newsletters

4. Reads military manuals online, hyperlink listed on the unit home page

U.S. Army Manuals online Table of Contents:

5. Orders military correspondance courses on-line, hyperlink listed on the unit home page

6. Studies warfighting tasks via distance learning means; hyperlink listed on the unit home page

Example, the Expert Infantryman's Badge Test online:


7. Reads professional military books from online sources or orders them from a required reading list, hyperlink listed on the unit home page:


8. Keeps current about the current state of warfare by reading professional journals online:


9. War games accurate combat simulations solo or with other Soldiers on gaming networks

Mounted Combat download: Armored Fist 2


This is an AWESOME, realistic simulation of mounted combat, basically M-COFT and SIMNET in your PC. You can play it right now on your keyboard after downloading. Pressing the /? key will give you the keyboard commands to play the game.



This is the best dismounted combat simulation we've found to date using current U.S. weapons, to compliment mounted tasks detailed in Armored Fist 2 in the link above.

10. Puts the unit SOP on the unit web site (hidden) so only unit Soldiers know the file name to access, but the SOP becomes a "living" document that can be instantly changed as wisdom/experience increases, not a tyranny of inflexibility.

The only cost of Digitizing the Soldier is the personal computers with modems/internet service provider, and a scanner for the unit to scan pictures/documents. Even this is rapidly changing...there are already FREE ISPs for email:


And there is a new FREE ISP--http://www.netzero.com that offers FULL www access--all you need is a modem for your computer and the software! You can download the software while using a trial version of a paid online service or buy the CD for a $8 one-time fee and then circulate it among your Soldiers.


3835 R. East Thousand Oaks Blvd., #338
Westlake Village, CA 91362
General Office: (818) 879-7250

The unit can then create a FREE web site/home page on any of a number of FREE web site providers like:


After signing up for a home page/web site in the "Pentagon" neighborhood, go to File manager and type in your name/password to edit your first page, or home page called the index.htm.

Simple HyperText Mark-up Language (HTML) hand coding can create the unit web pages. You simply create a template and paste it in at the top. Note the ! is just for this email communication to disable the HTML commands, in the actual web page HTML, leave out the !. Here is your "boiler plate" template:


This web page describes the Red Green Blue (RGB) color coding you can use to set your background colors and font colors inside the top template:


Then you paste in your content into the middle area, be it an OPORD, a roster, whatever. Most word processor programs have an option to save as an HTML file, so all the work is done for you! But for your own understanding the following basic commands can enable you to manipulate text/pictures/create hyperlinks on your unit web pages:

To find your own pictures/music you can right mouse click and save them to your PC hard drive or scan them to your hard drive. THEN---you File Transfer Protocol (FTP) them to your web site provider like geocities and you "own" the pictures. You can even use their short internet address like "m4comp.gif" instead of http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/5265/m4comp.gif" if the web page you want to display the picture is on the same internet address where the picture was FTPed.

Download FTP:


Save every web page file that you make onto your hard drive and a disk as a back-up to geocities. Print paper copies of things you want to take to the field for non-electronics-dependent reference.

Need to find something on the internet?


A Digitized Soldier is too busy studying his profession to go out and get drunk at a bar/receive Article 15s. A Digitized Soldier is "in the loop" or decision making cycle of his unit and is a valued player in the team. He is not bored, depressed or suicidal, he always has something to do or someone to talk to. How do we control the Soldier so he doesn't just goof off on the computer in chat rooms, view porno sites? There are many ways. Simply have active duty Soldiers receive PCs with software that blocks out completely these things or have a "curfew" time when the individual Soldier PCs turn off so the men can sleep. The Reserve component Soldier would have to exercise self-control.

The point is that in our busy Army we can reach a higher level of situational awareness and Soldier THINKING, SEEING, OBEDIENCE than ever thought possible. With this common understanding, Soldiers with SELF-discipline can execute MISSION type orders (AUFSTRAGTAKTIK) with a minimum of supervision because they will know what they are doing and what they are fighting for.


1st TSG (A)