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.
When we set out last year to see if the model we pioneered through Apps for Democracy could translate to a different culture like that of the U.S. Army we ran into a lot of skeptics. As Apps for the Army was being conceived some of our detractors said the following:
The Army is too big and slow to do something like this
Soldiers don’t know how to code
Soldiers don’t know anything about security
The apps will be low quality – leave the development to the pros
The process will kill any excitement in the program
I’m happy to report all of that was wrong.
Today, the Army has announced something very special – the first winning class of soldiers and civilians who’ve developed mobile and web solutions to address Army’s current challenges.
Of the initial 53 apps submitted a full 25 of them have passed through all security certification and are ready to be deployed today.
This program has taken the software development life-cycle down from an average of more than 1 year to roughly 90 days.
Soldiers are now empowered and incentivized to build solutions to their own problems rather than rely on outside actors to big them the tools they need.
With that all that in mind, here is the full Apps for the Army awards announcement for your consideration:
Top Five Apps for the Army Winners Recognized at LandWarNet Conference
The top five winners of the Apps for the Army (A4A) application development challenge will be recognized at the LandWarNet Conference, Thursday, August 5th in Tampa, FL.
Launched on March 1, A4A is the Army’s first internal application development challenge. In 75 days, 141 Soldiers and Army civilians registered in teams or as individuals to participate in the A4A challenge. By the May 15th deadline, 53 web and mobile applications were developed and submitted.
Fifteen winners and ten honorable mentions were selected from the 53 web and mobile applications developed and submitted by May 15. After passing a security certification, the apps were judged in five categories by a panel from across the Army. Each of the five categories has first ($3000), second ($1500) and third place ($1000) winners, and honorable mentions.
These 25 apps represent more than two times the number of certifiable apps we were hoping for and expecting from the program, said Lt. Gen. Jeff Sorenson, the Army Chief Information Officer/G-6.
Each application will help overcome mission-related challenges through the power of mobile and web devices.
This pilot program is helping define the business processes needed to make it easier to develop applications and certify software for the Army enterprise, Sorenson added.
The top five winning apps support physical training, mental health, disaster relief, mapping and recruiting:
Physical Training Program (iOS) helps Soldiers develop their own Personal Training program based on the Army’s new Physical Readiness Training program. The app provides training plans and videos of exercises. Developers are Maj. Gregory Motes, Cpt. Christopher Braunstein and Cpt. Stacey Osborn of the Army Signal Center, Ft. Gordon, Ga.
Telehealth Mood Tracker (Android/iOS) is a self-monitoring app that allows users to track their psychological health over a period of days, weeks and months using a visual analogue rating scale. Users can track experiences associated with deployment-related behavioral health issues. Developers are Robert Kayl, Scott Swim and Robert Van Gorkom of the Madigan Army Medical Center, Ft. Lewis, WA.
Disaster Relief (Android) is a web-based data survey, dissemination and analysis tool for searching, editing and creating maps viewable on Google Earth and Google Maps. The app assists Army personnel working in humanitarian relief and civilian affairs operations. Clients can be most mobile and handheld devices such as PDAs and smart phones. Developers are Andrew Jenkins and Alex Ly of the Engineer Research and Development Center, Alexandria, Va.
Movement Projection (Android) is a map-routing app for road navigation that allows Soldiers to input obstacles and threats — in addition to stops, start and end points — and calculates the best and fastest route. Luke Catania of the Engineer Research and Development Center, Alexandria, Va., is the developer.
New Recruit (Android) provides information for potential recruits. Features include military rank and insignia, Army news feeds, an Army physical fitness test calculator, and a Body Mass Index calculator. Thomas Maroulis of Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, Picatinny Arsenal, NJ, developed the app.
The complete list of 25 winners will be available soon on the CIO/G-6 website, http://ciog6.army.mil/Apps4Army.aspx.
Apps for the Army applications will be available for DoD CAC-card holders through the DoD Application Storefront beginning August 3.
The Army provided application development teams with key resources such as a cross- platform, cloud based, secure development environment. A4A marks a shift away from traditional Army development practices by using the latest in agile development methods, while focusing on rapid deployment. Milbook, AKO, and Twitter facilitated the cross-pollination of ideas, problems and solutions among developers over the course of the challenge. The forge.mil development site served as the collaborative software repository for participating teams.
A media and bloggers’ roundtable will take place Wed, August 3 at 10 a.m. at the LandWarNet Conference in Tampa FL at the Convention Center in the Press Room, Room #2. Lt. Gen. Sorenson and several of the A4A winners will participate.
If you plan to call in, please contact: SSG Dale Sweetnam at (703) 614-0371 or email@example.com to get the call-in number.
If you plan to participate in person at the media event, please contact: Anthony Garcia at 703-602-9375.
With media queries, contact: Margaret McBride at firstname.lastname@example.org. Look for updates on the Army CIO/G-6 Twitter feed @ArmyCIOG6 and follow the Apps for the Army conversation at hashtag #apps4army.