Northwest Military Blogs: Army West Blog

Posts made in: July, 2017 (22) Currently Viewing: 1 - 10 of 22

July 6, 2017 at 10:37am

Soldiers test readiness during Dragon Week

Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), paddle through the Puget Sound during a competition as part of Dragon Week, held on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, June 29. Photo credit: Spc. Victor Richmond

Most Army units prepare for overseas contingencies by performing an Emergency Deployment Readiness Exercise. This entails ensuring soldiers' paperwork is in order and going through the motions of a mock deployment. The soldiers of 3rd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), pride themselves in unconventional training methods, and the unit's Dragon Week was no different.

"Dragon Week is a 3rd Battalion tradition that we have been unable to execute over the past few years because of our operational tempo," said the 3rd Battalion commander Lt. Col. Jason Clarke. "We wanted to get back to our roots and instill the sense of tradition that 1st SFG (A) has been great at for the past sixty years. Dragon Week stresses our soldiers both physically and mentally as they navigate their way through multiple tactical and technical challenges."

Due to the nature of their training and mission sets, Army Special Operations Forces are becoming leaders at redefining the readiness model, according to 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne). Not only are Special Operations Forces much smaller with a very high demand for services, but they experience an extremely high mission deployment rate. Those challenges make it difficult to maintain a sustained ready force, especially when teams operate in different phases of readiness.

By testing readiness at the higher level, 1st SFG (A) is proving readiness can occur outside of the team. To exercise this, 3rd Battalion personnel awoke to an early morning phone call with instructions to bring pertinent paperwork and equipment post-haste for an unknown mission. After the battalion's human resources section checked readiness packets, soldiers found themselves preparing for an airborne operation with a follow-on mission.

After landing safely, the teams representing every company in the battalion were given the first of 10 points to navigate to by staying off roads and using only a compass and a map. At each point they had to overcome physical and mental tasks prior to receiving their next point. The tasks ranged from assembling and disassembling heavy weapons to constructing a rope bridge and crossing an obstacle, to assembling a 300-piece Mickey Mouse puzzle for time.

There was very specific reasons for designing the training in such a way.

"We wanted to make it challenging but not to the point where it detracted from the espirit de corps and team building, said Capt. Mike Dutile, the battalion logistics officer and the officer in charge of planning the event. "If it was too bad, we would have lost the focus."

There were also real-world implications in the training set-up.

"Everything our teams were asked to do during Dragon Week was one hundred percent applicable towards our operations, whether a training event in Asia or a combat operation in Afghanistan or Syria," Clarke said.

Staff Sgt. Katie Whelan, a preventive medicine noncommissioned officer assigned to the battalion, supported the medical lane. Teams were required to self-administer tourniquets, inject IVs, and carry a teammate on a litter for time.

"A lot of the teams had soldiers who weren't trained as medics, but could complete the tasks," she said. "It was pretty impressive to see."

At night, the teams established patrol bases and waited until morning before continuing with small unit tactics and patrolling. The teams also participated in maritime operations at Solo Point involving paddling a boat 1,000 meters to recover a soldier and then returning to shore. From there, they moved to a weapons range to finish with a stress shoot.

Clarke stressed the fact that every echelon the staff played a part in the overall success of Dragon Week, from running the command post, coordinating communications between all units, manning the opposition force, conducting intelligence collection, and acting as roll players to add degrees of realism to the exercise. The joint training included an airman - specializing in Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape - helped train soldiers to escape from various restraints.

"The amount of support to conduct Dragon Week is almost as high as the operators going through the exercise," Clarke said. "Our support soldiers are just as important as our operators to ensure mission success."

July 6, 2017 at 10:51am

Green Berets, units work and learn side-by-side

Members of the 1st Special Forces Group (A) conducted a Key Leader Engagement during training exercise Bayonet Focus 2017 at Yakima training center June 17. Photo credit: Sgt. Codie Mendenhall

What happens when you combine the Army's top Special Forces soldiers with a conventional unit? The result is an incredible learning opportunity - for both sides. Soldiers from the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team recently had this chance to work side-by-side with Green Berets in medical training.

For most people, the term "Green Beret" conjures up images from heart-pounding action movies. However, the true scope of work performed by Special Forces soldiers includes everything from unconventional warfare and special reconnaissance, to humanitarian assistance and peacekeeping missions. Partnering with conventional Army units is also another unique aspect of work for these Green Berets.

Pfc. Brennan Stubb, an infantryman assigned to C Company, 3rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Battalion, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, said that partnering with Special Forces during training "make us more prepared, and it changes things up from conventional Army training to get a different perspective."

Stubb and his fellow soldiers in the 2nd Infantry Division received advanced medical training from the Special Forces in first aid. The Green Berets also demonstrated improved techniques for placing injured soldiers on litters and skeds (stretchers that can be dragged along the ground.) While this specialized medical training is standard for the Green Berets, Stubb remarked how beneficial these skills will be for his unit in future training and deployed environments.

For their part, the conventional units also assisted the Special Forces with ground and air support during the training. Soldiers from the 2-2 SBCT provided logistical support to the Green Berets throughout their time at the Yakima Training Center.

For both the Special Forces and conventional units, the YTC provided an ideal environment for the training. "It's a good training venue for both organizations and because we both use it, it makes sense that we co-utilize the same area," according to one of the team leaders with the 1st Special Forces Group (A). The YTC featured a training environment similar to what soldiers might experience overseas, while also being conveniently located so that neither unit had to undertake the otherwise arduous travel to the Joint Readiness Center in Louisiana or the National Training Center in California.

Working side-by-side gave both the Green Berets and the 2-2 SBCT soldiers valuable experience that can carry over to future deployments. "They have a better idea of how we are organized and what our mission is," said the 1st SFG (A) team leader, referring to his 2-2 SBCT counterparts. "Specifically in a deployed environment there's so many lessons learned, command relationships, who's responsible for what, how to battle track each other and how to communicate - very basic things that can have a big impact down range."

July 10, 2017 at 3:00pm

JBLM athletes competing for Army

55th Combat Camera Sgt. 1st Class Heather Moran, from Joint Base Lewis McChord, takes aim with her air rifle during the shooting competition for the 2017 Department of Defense Warrior Games at Chicago Saturday.

CHICAGO — Excitement filled the air as buses full of athletes rolled into the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in downtown Chicago, escorted by Patriot Guard riders and American flags.

It was a fitting entrance for Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and the United States Special Operations Command service members hoping to represent their teams in a big way as they compete in wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, track, field, cycling, swimming, shooting and archery at the 2017 Department of Defense Warrior Games hosted by the United States Navy Saturday through July 14.

Thirty-eight athletes will be competing for Team Army. While many of the athletes flew into Chicago’s major airports, a few took the opportunity to enjoy an old-fashioned road trip.

Colonel Daniel Dudek, I Corps, and Sgt. 1st Class David Iuli, an Army veteran, drove 30 hours from Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Iuli admits he had initial concerns about the length of the trip, but after hitting the road with his Army teammate, the trek quickly became an adventure.

“It was fun and relaxing,” Iuli said, with a laugh. “Thanks to him (Dudek) and his history knowledge, I’m a Lewis and Clark buff now.”

“I loved it,” Dudek said. “Just watching the sun come up in Montana, and there’s still snow on a lot of the mountain tops. It’s so soothing.”

There are four Army representatives from JBLM. Joining Dudek and Iuli is Sgt. 1st Class Heather Moran and Spc. Maria Garcia from the Warrior Transition Battalion.

About 265 wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans representing teams from the Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, U.S. Special Forces Command, United Kingdom and Australian Defense Force are competing in Chicago in shooting, archery, cycling, track and field, swimming, sitting volleyball and wheelchair basketball.

Throughout the opening ceremonies Saturday, celebrities Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson and comedian Jon Stewart praised the service members for their resiliency and thanked them for their service.

Navy Chief Petty Officer Robin Elkington, Australian Defense Force, said the Australian team has felt welcomed by U.S. forces and by the City of Chicago.

“The Warrior Games is all about recovery and rehabilitation and eventually reintegration into our services and back into our normal lives,” Elkington said. “It’s beautiful and brilliant to see. I hope it really continues and that we can continue to be strong as allied nations.”

Kelly Clarkson opened the concert with “My Life Would Suck Without You.”

“I’m excited and honored to be here,” Clarkson said to the audience. “Thank you so much for your service. We are super honored. When I was told about Warrior Games, I was so inspired, and I’m just so excited to be a part of this and just thank you so much for having us here.”

As she readied the audience for “Piece By Piece,” she was overcome with emotion.

“Y’all are real heroes,” she said.

Blake Shelton closed the opening show at the Warrior Games.

“Happy Independence Day weekend!” Shelton said to the audience. “I hope you’re not going to get tired of me celebrating these military people I see out here in the audience tonight and their families. Thank you so much.”

Editor’s note: Shannon Collins, Department of Defense News Service, contributed to this story.

July 11, 2017 at 5:23pm

Veteran Career Fairs in the Washington Area, Aug. 15 & Aug 17

Hire G.I is hosting two amazing events in Aug - Sailors to the Workforce - Hiring Event on Tuesday, Aug. 15, & Warriors to the Workforce - Hiring Event on Thursday, Aug 17th presented by Allied Universal Protection.

The Aug 15th event will take place at Best Western Silverdale Hotel | 3073 Bucklin Hill Rd, Silverdale WA. The Aug 17th event will be on the JBLM Base at the American Lake Conference Center. Both events are two-hours from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

The event is free for transitioning military personnel, veterans, National Guard members, and reserve members. Preregistration takes place at hiregi.com. Those that preregister receive a resume review and on-site interviews.

Hire G.I. is a regional career service company, specializing in Veteran Career Fairs, with many years of experience in connecting veteran job seekers with industry leading companies that are currently hiring. Their events provide opportunities to interview face to face with 25+ Fortune 500 and industry leading companies seeking talented, experienced and enthusiastic military candidates.? 

For more information on Hire GI, visit www.hiregi.com

July 13, 2017 at 2:15pm

Special Forces soldiers carry the load

Soldiers from 4th Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), carry lumber up Granite Mountain to restore the storm shutters on the fire lookout tower July 7. Photo credit: Joseph Parrish

Most change of command ceremonies happen outside a battalion area with a formation, but the Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 4th Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), changed it up by conducting its ceremony at the base of Granite Mountain before trekking 5,633 feet to the summit with 880 pounds of lumber for the U.S. Forestry Service.

The relationship between the U.S. Forestry Service and HHD was built at a previous endurance event, when HHD coordinated with the U.S. Forestry Service to use Granite Mountain as a training venue. During the initial coordination, HHD discovered that the Forestry Service needed to transport almost 1,000 pounds of lumber to the top of the mountain. HHD saw the opportunity to give back to the community by carrying the load, while also providing a challenging physical exercise for the soldiers, according to HHD commander, Capt. Wesley Wiblin.

The lumber will be used to restore the storm shutters on the fire lookout tower at the mountain's summit. The fire tower was built in 1956 and hasn't been renovated in the 61 years that it has been standing at the summit. Most of the Forestry Services Rangers are volunteers, and would have to make multiple trips up the mountain to get the lumber to the summit.

"They didn't know how they were going to get the lumber up to the fire tower, so the soldiers from HHD volunteering to help was amazing," said Chris Felsted, Forestry Service Park Ranger.

In total, 36 soldiers from HHD participated in the ascent. The Forestry Service packaged the lumber into 40-pound two-man carry loads. With water and food for the journey, plus the lumber, each soldier carried approximately 50 pounds up the 4.3-mile trail to the summit.

The trail is an incline all the way to the top, and the halfway mark turns into snow-packed terrain.

One soldier from HHD said the hike to the top was very challenging and really tested physical fitness, but that it was great to give back to the community and help the Forestry Service.

July 13, 2017 at 2:19pm

Brig. Gen. John Tuohy to retire from service

Brig. Gen. John Tuohy (left) will retire in August and Col. Jeremy “Java” Horn will take his place as commander of the Washington Air National Guard. Courtesy photo

A message from Maj. Gen. Bret Daugherty, the adjutant general

All:

After nearly four decades of military service, Brig. Gen. John Tuohy will retire in August. Please help me congratulate him on a distinguished career and thank him for his invaluable contributions to our state, our nation and the Washington National Guard.

Following his active-duty service, Brig. Gen. Tuohy joined our organization in 1984 and has successfully filled many roles - to include federal human resource officer, JFHQ chief of staff and commander of the 194th Wing. Most recently, he has been Assistant Adjutant General-Air, commanding the 2,000 men and women of the Washington Air National Guard, while at the same time, leading our team at the Washington Youth Academy. Under his direction, both organizations have been recognized nationally - we are grateful for his leadership and success.

Brig. Gen. Tuohy will certainly be missed, but his tireless work to pioneer an initiative for a joint cyber training schoolhouse will likely leave us a lasting legacy. I wish him and his wife nothing but the best during retirement to include more time with their growing family and more adventures at their Idaho ranch.

Please help me welcome Col. Jeremy "Java" Horn as the next commander of the Washington Air National Guard. Java is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy who brought his extensive experience and enthusiasm to the Washington National Guard in 2009. He's helped lead the 194th Air Support Operations Group, commanded the 194th Wing and deployed to Afghanistan as a Joint Terminal Attack Controller. He was recently named our director of Joint Forces, coordinating all Washington Army and Air National Guard domestic response capabilities.

I'm confident in Col. Horn's ability to grow our organization and offer him my full support. He's known for his focused dedication, which will help us remain a leader in domestic response capabilities, cyber defense, and national security missions.

Again, please help me congratulate both Brig. Gen. Tuohy and Col. Horn as they begin this next chapter. Thank you both for your distinguished service and your selfless contributions to our organization, state and nation!

July 13, 2017 at 2:23pm

Soldier honors family at DoD Warrior Games

Col. Daniel Dudek is surrounded by his parents Robert and Peggy during the 2013 Warrior Games. He is currently at the McCormick Place Convention Center, Chicago, Illinois, for the 2017 Department of Defense Warrior Games. Photo courtesy Col. Daniel Dudek

On a cool summer morning on the Northside of Chicago, Col. Daniel Dudek enters his fifth lap on the track at Lane Technical College Preparatory High School. He's practicing for the DoD 2017 Warrior Games wheelchair racing competition; one of 38 athletes competing for Team Army.

Dudek, currently with I Corps, is the former Joint Base Lewis-McChord Warrior Transition Battalion commander.

For Dudek, Lane Tech is hallowed ground. His father, who died just last year, ran cross-country track at Lane Tech. That was more than 50 years ago.

"I can't believe I'm finally here. I feel like I'm spending time with Dad again," Dudek said.

Dudek suffered a spinal cord injury in 2007 after an improvised explosive device struck his vehicle. The blast left him with limited mobility in his legs, requiring him to use his arms to get around most of the time. However, this new reality did not dampen his spirit.

"Listen, if you have an ounce of positivity, it will go out into the world exponentially. Dealing with issues is a state of mind," he said. "If you were positive before the injury then that attitude will continue and vice versa."

Just one of many lessons Dudek encourages individuals to follow, but his greatest lesson came from his father, Robert.

"He would sit in the stands and I would always look for him and my mom. After the game he would say, "Don't look up at us, and focus!"

Although Dudek's dad is no longer in the stands, he remains his guiding force.

"There is a white ribbon encased on my cycle, with his picture. He's always with me."

July 13, 2017 at 2:43pm

Soldier reaches milestone

Army Reserve Capt. Trista Budzynski, Transportation Officer, 364th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, was honored as the 2016 U.S. Army Reserve’s Transportation Regimental Corps Officer of the Year July 12 at Fort Lee. Photo credit: Capt. Andrew Daane

Army Reserve Capt. Trista Budzynski, a transportation officer with the Washington state-based 364th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, was honored yesterday as the 2016 U.S. Army Reserve's Transportation Regimental Corps Officer of the Year.

Headquartered in Marysville, the 364th ESC has command and control of more than 40 Army Reserve units located in seven states. It has three subordinate brigade-level units: 96th Sustainment Brigade, located in Salt Lake City, Utah; 652nd Regional Support Group, headquartered in Helena, Montana; and 654th Regional Support Group, in Tacoma.

So what exactly does it take for a young junior officer to reach this milestone?

In an interview with Budzynski during the 364th ESC's annual training this week, I expected to see an exhausted soldier, knowing she had just finished a 12-hour assignment as the officer-in-charge of the 364th ESC M16 qualification range. She appeared sunburnt but surprisingly full of energy. As the interview continued it became clear her seemingly unlimited supply of energy and perpetual positive attitude contributed to her success as a Transportation Officer in the United States Army Reserves (USAR).

Her ability to successfully plan and execute strategic airlifts by coordinating, tracking and confirming the airlift of equipment and supplies from the United States to Poland during exercise Anakonda 2016, aided in her rising above her peers and earning this distinction.

When asked about how she was able to bring about these accomplishments, she referenced family as her major source of inspiration. With a supporting husband and two young children at home, they offer her support like no one else can.

"Nothing is a bigger stress reliever than hearing a baby laugh," she explained. Whether it is coming home to her baby laughing, or her husband listening to the frustrations of the day, she attributes much of her success to them. Her family understands she serves in the U.S. Army out of a sense of duty, and honors that commitment.

The transportation field is a demanding, fast-paced job. One of Budzynski's secrets to success is stress management and always maintaining a positive attitude whenever possible. "When I'm stressed out, I try and remain optimistic, which allows people to work around you more and want to work with you," she said.

Given transportation missions are often collaborative in nature, this is one of the most valuable traits she focuses on. She also possesses an energetic nature, which allows her to be proactive and anticipate obstacles that lie ahead, rather than simply react. "I'm an active person with a lot of energy and I have to expend it," she said.

In the end, being named the USAR Transportation Officer of the Year has to do with task completion, mission execution and furthering the reputation of the Transportation Corps as a whole through leadership. The entire chain of command holds Budzynski as a performer who leads from the front.

Perhaps her colleague Capt. Lane Wheeler described her performance best when he stated, "Captain Budzynski displays a never-ending persistence to ensure soldiers are provided the logistical resources they need to be successful. She has developed an array of logistical tools, techniques and procedures ... (that) are constantly being assessed and refined to ensure she continues to meet the challenges impressed upon her by the complex mission of the 364th ESC."

July 13, 2017 at 3:04pm

1st SFG dependents receive scholarships

A total of 22 students earned scholarships from the 1st SFG Special Forces Scholarship Fund. Those who could not attend the ceremony are pictured on the screen. Photo credit: Spc. Victor Richmond

Twenty-two dependents of current and former 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) Green Berets received scholarships from the 1st SFG Special Forces Scholarship Fund July 7 at the Group's Regimental Mess Facility on Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Since its founding in 2012, the fund has distributed more than $190,000 to 82 students. "It's an honor to celebrate the achievements of these 22 1st Group children," said Col. (Ret.) Rick Thomas, former 1st SFG commander and volunteer director who established the fund in 2012. "We recognize the next generation of our leaders whose futures are so promising," he said.

Thomas praised the high caliber of applicants who had competitive SAT/ACT scores, grades, athletic achievements, and community service.

"As a parent, I know it's hard to put kids through school," said. Col. Guillaume Beaurpere, 1st SFG commander. "The opportunities provided by the Special Forces Scholarship Fund are tremendously value-added."

Thomas and Col. (Ret.) Charles Higbee, fund co-director, presented the certificates to the students who could apply for scholarships for up to four years of undergraduate education and two years of graduate scholarships.

Andrew McCaulley, who graduated from Yelm High School and will study aerospace engineering at the University of Washington, placed first in the scholarship order of merit list. "With so many students applying to college, all scholarships are so competitive," he said. "I feel lucky to have the support of 1st Group for continuing my education past high school."

Some of the scholarships were named for donors, such as the Heritage Scholarship sponsored by the Heritage Distilling Company, or a scholarship sponsored by the Special Forces Association Chapter XVI.

The outstanding scholars receiving 2017 1st SFG Special Forces Scholarships and the schools they will attend are:

Kylie Ada, Pacific Lutheran University

Julia Bagshaw, Washington State University

Lauren Colonair, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Mary Margaret Deedrick, Catholic University

Sierra Dickinson, Linfield College

Taylor Fernandez, Whitworth University

Caitlin Guiao, Chapman University

Taylor Guthrie, Ohio State University

Victoria Holcom, George Mason University

Bailey Hunt, Skagit Valley College

Seth Koivisto, Pacific Lutheran University

Madison Littlefield, University of San Francisco

Andrew McCauley, University of Washington

Alexis Orosco, University of Washington

Preston Palmer, University of Washington

Noah Prokopowicz, Seattle University

Jordan Reed, Florida Southern University

Teresa Shreve, University of Montavello

Bailey Stehn, Washington State University

Trentan Walker, Santa Clara University

Bobbye Wardlow, Hendrix College

Alex Wilson-Heid, Pennsylvania State University

The 1st SFG Special Forces Scholarship Fund is a 501(c)3 charitable, nonprofit fund that provides merit-based scholarships to the children of Special Forces soldiers. Every dollar donated to the fund goes directly to scholarships for children and is fully tax deductible. Anyone interested in supporting the fund is invited to view the "1st Special Forces Group Scholarship Fund" Facebook page, or to contact Col.(Ret) Rick Thomas at rickthomas@msn.com.

July 13, 2017 at 3:17pm

TRADOC to release active shooter mobile app that will educate, save lives

Members or the Special Reaction Team (SRT) secure a hallway while fellow teammates clear rooms during an active shooter training exercise at Fort Shafter, Hawaii in February 2017. Staff Sgt. Taresha Hill)

Soon, soldiers and civilians will be mere taps away from contacting emergency teams in the event of an active shooter.

Army Training and Doctrine Command and TRADOC Capability Manager -- Mobile (TCM Mobile) announced winners from a competition to develop an active shooter response mobile application for the Army. A team of civilian employees from the Aviation Center of Excellence, Fort Rucker, Alabama, submitted the winning entry.

The app will soon be released for free download from the Google Play, iTunes and other online stores.

"All these applications have the necessary and vital information that will save lives, time, and educate those with little or no training on active-shooter response situations," said Capt. Dylan Gallagan, operations officer at the Army Office of the Provost Marshal General.

The app will add to the Army's list of current applications that aid soldier training, readiness and response to emergency situations. The winning entry walks users through various steps of how to respond to an active shooter and what to do when law enforcement arrives.

"If adrenaline kicks in and they forget what to do in the moment, all of that information is right there in front of them," said Matt MacLaughlin, who works at TRADOC Senior Mobile Training Development. "It should help everybody respond to that situation in the fastest manner possible."

Users will be able to simply tap to open the app and tap another button to reach the emergency dialer. There will also be an option to translate the app to Spanish. Final features and details of the winning application are still being determined by the Provost Marshal's office, MacLaughlin said.

"We're going to try to think for you," said MacLaughlin. "Because there's situations where you won't have time to think."

Army Cyber Center of Excellence teams from five Army posts took part in the competition, which was created to further develop skills in a nine-course online training session. Prior to the competition, TRADOC provided mobile training from August 2016 through February. TCM Instructional Design Specialist Patty Dobbins and Senior IT Specialist Diane Jenkins provided three-day onsite training focused on user interface and user experience and coding.

"We decided to come up with an idea that they can do after we leave so they can apply what they learned during our training and also (create) a product that would be very beneficial across the Army," Jenkins said.

The active shooter response app follows the development of the "We Care" mobile apps created by TCM Mobile for sexual harassment prevention and suicide prevention. TCM has also produced about 80 mobile apps for other purposes, including combat training. Maclaughlin said TCM hopes to not only establish a pipeline of emergency mobile apps, but also help establish a service-wide infrastructure to oversee mobile app development and training.

Part of TRADOC's mission is to train app developers at decentralized locations to Defense Department standards.

Last year, TCM launched the Army's mobile app store, the TRADOC Application Gateway, which features official Army mobile apps. As part of the Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, TCM is responsible for validating and embedding mobile apps for the Army.

"This can easily be expanded across the Army, so we're just laying a blueprint down that the Army can utilize in the future," MacLaughlin said. "So just from this one effort, the Army itself can grow exponentially in the mobile capabilities based on this effort."

The judges evaluated the shooter app entries based on content and functionality as well as design and overall user experience, Dobbins said. There was also a competition for best logo design, won by the team from Fort Gordon, Georgia.

"We have people all the time that want to have mobile applications created and they want it ... as soon as possible," said Lt. Col. Joe Harris, TRADOC Capability Manager-Mobile. "Now that they have this capability down at the school level ... decentralized creation lessens the work on this end to have the mobile application (available for use)."

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