The U.S. Army Considers Making iPhones Standard Issue

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The U.S. army is considering a proposal to arm its soldiers with a new weapon for the 21st century battlefield: smartphones.

The Army Times is reporting that early next year, iPhones, Androids and even Blackberries could potentially become standard issue next to fatigues, tactical knives and M4 rifles. (More on Military Outlaws Blank CDs and Thumbdrives to Prevent Leaks)

The idea behind the proposal – part of a program dubbed Connecting Soldiers to Digital Applications (CSDA) – is to grant soldiers instant access to to up-to-date information and intel while shedding a few burdensome pounds from their field bags.

The report states:

“In February, the Army plans to begin fielding phones, network equipment and applications to the first Army brigade to be modernized under the brigade combat team modernization program. That test will not be limited to smart phones but will include any electronic devices that may be useful to troops.”

While the plan is still a long ways from actually being implemented – with testing and securing a data network at the forefront of priorities – the idea of widely outfitting troops with smartphones seems a bit overdue, especially when you consider how many civilian offices distribute smartphones to their employees for work purposes.

The announcement comes at a controversial time for information sharing in military circles, during a week when the U.S. army also issued a ban preventing its soldiers from viewing websites like WikiLeaks while serving.

[via Information Week]

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