'Smart phone for every soldier' finds another cheerleader

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Lt. Gen. Michael Vane, director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center said he would like the Army to issue smart phones just like any other “piece of equipment in a soldier's clothing bag.” (Thomas Brown/Staff)

A smart phone for every soldier has a new advocate. Maj. Gen. Robert Brown, commander of the Army Maneuver Center of Excellence, said smart phones are “exactly the way we need to go.”

Asked Thursday after his speech at the Association for the U.S. Army Aviation Symposium & Exposition in Washington, D.C., what he thought about issuing smart phones to soldiers, he called it a “brilliant idea” and that “leveraging the technology we have is the way we have to go.”

Brown’s wife and three daughters all have iPhones. He said it’s time for the Army to take the technology that already exists and get it into soldiers’ hands.

In 2003, Brown did an interview with the History Channel where he was asked what was the next step forward for technology on the battlefield. He said all he’d need was his watch to store the data he
would need to lead his troops.

A phone is not quite a watch, but it’s getting close.

“It’s the next step,” the two-star said.

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