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Latest Piece of Army Equipment: Smartphone?

Photo: army.mil; Dmitry Goygel-Sokol

The Army’s use of smartphones has a high-level champion in Vice Chief of Staff Peter Chiarelli. In an interview with Nextgov, Chiarelli, an avid smartphone user, said he wanted the Army to harness the power of smartphones.

Chiarelli’s said his support of smartphones only makes sense. Most younger personnel are already proficient in their use, apps are easily designed for them and an army investment putting smartphones into the hand of every soldier would certainly garner a big discount compared to retail prices.

Chiarelli’s comments come as ongoing field tests examine the use of smartphones on the battlefield, Nextgov reports, and the Apps for the Army, a project encouraging the design and creation of smartphone applications launched earlier this year, was widely seen as a game-changer for business development.

The smartphone applications are about more than fun and games. The very real and serious issue of mental health for returning veterans has been addressed with smartphone apps.

One of the apps connects service members with mental-health counselors either in person, or even over video chat, which may be a particularly potent strategy for the younger, tech-obsessed generation.

“These young kids would rather [talk to a counselor] over the Internet than in person,” Chiarelli told Nextgov.

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