Disclaimer: iStrategyLabs does not represent the views and options of the US Army. The views and options contained in this post are to be taken solely as those of Peter Corbett, CEO, iStrategyLabs.

Disclaimer: iStrategyLabs does not represent the views and opinions of the US Army. The views and opinions contained in this post are to be taken solely as those of Peter Corbett, CEO, iStrategyLabs.

Ever since we launched Apps for Democracy for DC’s Office of the CTO back in September 2008 the world has been a-buzz with “Apps for” contests. We recently released a guide for how to create your own in order to make this kind of innovation method more accessible to people around the world. There are now about a dozen of these innovation contests being run by cities, national governments and various non-profits.

Today I’m happy to announce a new Apps initiative – one which iStrategyLabs has been contracted to create with the Army’s CIO/G6. A special thank you goes out to Tim O’Reilly – who envisioned this program and served as an advisor/connector to make it happen. Below you’ll find full details from the Army’s official media advisory (download as .DOC), and a summary is as follows:

  1. A media and bloggers’ roundtable will take place March 3 at 1:30 pm in the Pentagon, Room  1E462.  Lieutenant General Jeffery Sorenson (Army CIO) will discuss Apps for the Army and take questions. To attend the roundtable in person, or if you plan to call in, please contact: Ms. Ashley McCall-Washington at 703-614-1649 or ashley.mccall1@us.army.mil
  2. The competition runs from March 1st to May 15st 2010
  3. There are 40 employee cash awards totaling $30,000 for mobile and web apps
  4. Only 100 initial teams can participate
  5. Awards will be announced in June, with public demonstrations at LandWarNet
  6. Registration forms and other details can be found on AKO: http://www.army.mil/ciog6/armyapps
  7. Forge.mil will serve as a collaborative software repository
  8. RACE – a cloud based development sandbox will be provided. Participants can access a Windows server, Linux server and mobile app emulation software for Android and Blackberry. iPhone apps will need to be developed outside of RACE.
  9. MilBook’s Apps for the Army group will serve as the core collaboration space for all participants
  10. If you’re on twitter, use the hashtag #apps4army to follow the conversation

Video Overview of Apps for the Army:

Apps for the Army Logo & Banner:



Full text of the media release:

Army Launches Software Application Development Challenge “Apps for the Army”

The Pentagon, Arlington, VA (March 1st, 2010) – Today the Army announced its first internal applications development challenge, dubbed Apps for the Army or A4A.  Open to all Soldiers and Department of the Army civilians, A4A offers Army personnel the opportunity to demonstrate their software development skills and creativity.  In return, the Army hopes to improve its current capabilities or to add new ones – all through the ingenuity of its people.

“We’re building a culture of collaboration among our Army community to encourage smarter, better and faster technical solutions to meet operational needs,” said Army Chief Information Officer/G-6 Lt. Gen. Jeff Sorenson.

“Soldiers and Army civilians will be creating new mobile and web applications of value for their peers—tools that enhance warfighting effectiveness and business productivity today,” Sorenson said.  “And, we’re rewarding their innovation with recognition and cash.”

Participation in A4A is limited to the first 100 Army personnel (active duty, Army Reserve and Army National Guard on active duty, and civilians) who enroll.  Teamwork is encouraged but not required.  The Army will recognize the top submissions at the LandWarNet Conference in August 2010.  Winners will receive monetary awards; the total cash pool is $30,000.

A4A applications may tackle any aspect of Army IT – distributed training, battle command, career management, continuing education, or news and information distribution, for example.  A4A will further deviate from traditional development practices by utilizing the latest in collaborative development media.

“Apps for the Army features an innovative cloud computing service for participants to use during software creation,” Sorenson noted.  “This is key because it eliminates the constraints of hardware provisioning prior to prototype evaluation.”

The service, provided by the Defense Information Systems Agency and known as the Rapid Access Computing Environment (RACE), offers access to on-demand virtual Windows and Linux development environments.  Participants will be able to pursue Web application development using all available programming languages supported by Windows Server and the Linux, Apache, MYSQL and PHP (LAMP) frameworks.  They also will be able to build emulated Blackberry, iPhone and Android applications.

Forge.mil will serve as the collaborative software repository for competing teams.  The tools inherent in milBook and AKO will facilitate the cross-pollination of ideas, problems and solutions relevant to the Apps for the Army initiative.

The registration form, rules and instructions are located at the Apps for the Army Web site on the AKO portal: http://www.army.mil/ciog6/armyapps.  Rolling registration begins March 1, 2010.  Apps must be submitted by May 15, 2010.  Questions can be addressed to CIO/G6ArmyApps@conus.army.mil.

A media and bloggers’ roundtable will take place March 3 at 1:30 pm in the Pentagon, Room  1E462.  To attend the roundtable in person, or if you plan to call in, please contact: Ms. Ashley McCall-Washington at 703-614-1649 or ashley.mccall1@us.army.mil

For general media inquiries, please contact: Margaret McBride, 703-693-3067, margaret.mcbride@us.army.mil.