Online Professional Forums Save Lives, Time and Money
SENIOR LEADERS ARE SAYING
"The presence of these international officers helps our entire student body develop an understanding of each nation's culture and culture terrain that is so important to both global operations and global security. Unquestionably, American officers will learn a great deal from our international officers over the next year."
- Brig. Gen. Edward Cardon, acting commander of the Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth, and acting Command and General Staff College (CGSC) commandant, said international officers enrich the overall education at CGSC.
Flag ceremony marks start of new ILE class
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING
"It's an amazing opportunity given to you to be able to race and compete at the Olympics and to represent the United States, but it's also special for me to race and compete for the Army. It's hard to explain - just to show up and have so many people rooting for you…I've got a big strong team behind me that says U.S. Army on it."
- Sgt. Jeremy Teela, Three-time Olympic biathlete
Soldier shoots for unprecedented U.S. medal in Olympic biathlon
A CULTURE OF ENGAGEMENT
African American History Month See Web site: African Americans in the U.S. Army
Feb.1-7: National Patient Recognition Week
Feb. 12-28: XXI Olympic Winter Games, British Columbia, Canada - See U.S. Army Olympians Web site
Feb. 15: President's Day
Feb. 24- 26: AUSA Winter Symposium
Women’s History Month
Brain Injury Awareness Month
Mar. 18: Army Day
WHAT'S BEING SAID IN BLOGS
- National Guard called in to help after snowstorm
- Gates: Afghan strategy bears fruit, Iraq on track
- U.S. Army embraces social media
- German-born U.S. Soldier headed for OCS two years after being seriously wounded in Iraq
- Veterans at risk for mesothelioma cancer, among other illnesses
Online Professional Forums Save Lives, Time and Money
What is it?
The Battle Command Knowledge System (BCKS) at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, hosts more than 60 online professional forums with nearly 153,000 members. Sponsored by a variety of organizations throughout the Army, BCKS forums focus on functional areas (e.g. personnel and logistics), leaders (e.g. NCO, warrant officer, commander, S-3 and XO) and operations (e.g. counterinsurgency, transition teams). Through the forums, Soldiers and units connect to share knowledge, solve problems, share best practices and develop professional skills.
What has the Army done?
A BCKS survey of forum participants reported that the professional forums helped save more than 1,400 lives from June 2008 to June 2009. Nearly 2,500 of the more than 100,000 members of 12 forums responded to the survey conducted last year. The respondents also said the forums had conservatively saved them or their unit 6,749 labor hours from June 2008 -June 2009. Likewise, they estimated that the things they had seen, read or downloaded from the Forums saved the Army nearly $1.6 million.
What efforts does BCKS have planned for the future?
Some say knowledge is the Soldier's last competitive advantage. To sharpen that advantage, BCKS is designing the architecture and processes to integrate the Centers of Excellence (COEs) with deployed and deploying forces into a coherent knowledge network. BCKS also continues to provide knowledge management advisors (KMAs) to operational units. KMAs provide knowledge management training and advice, assistance in Common Operating Picture management, content management advice and help developing standards of procedures (SOPs). BCKS KMAs support the following units: I Corps, III Corps, XVIII Airborne Corps, 1st Infantry Division, 1st Cavalry Division and 101st Airborne Division (AASLT). BCKS will soon provide a KMA to the 82nd Airborne Division.
Why is this important to the Army?
The professional forums provide 24x7 access to online discussions, best practices and TTPs (tactics, techniques, procedures) that facilitate knowledge sharing, promote learning and accelerate decision making, all of which helps Soldier and unit readiness in combat situations in Iraq and Afghanistan. "The professional forums hosted by BCKS promote a culture of learning in the Army and play a vital role in forming agile and adaptive leaders," said Mr. Dale Ormond, deputy to the commanding general, Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth. "The survey clearly shows the value Soldiers place on the knowledge they glean from the online discussions and documents in the Forums."
List of BCKS Professional Forums
AKO sign-in required: BCKS Page on AKO
ABOUT THE ARMY
- Former Army Chief of Staff Weyand dead at 93 (Army Times)
- Soldiers in Iraq prepare for stateside hurricanes (The U.S. Army)
- Logistics Soldiers provide unique capability in Haiti (The U.S. Army)
- Army Aviation gunners discuss future issues (The U.S. Army)
- Drill sergeant returns to duty following amputation (The U.S. Army)
- Marjah fight geared for civilian safety (USA Today)
- Outreach precedes U.S. offensive (Wall Street Journal)
- U.S., Afghan troops encircle Taliban stronghold (Boston Globe)
- Defense source: U.S. to spread training in Pakistan (Washington Post)
- U.S. rules out missile-defense link to treaty (Washington Times)
- Atomic agency views Iran’s stepped-up enrichment of uranium as a violation (New York Times)
- China alarmed by security threat from Internet (New York Times)
- Robot hand could protect soldiers on the battlefield (London Times)
- Afghanistan quietly brings into force Taliban amnesty law (The Guardian)
- Yemen declares truce with northern rebels (BBC)
- Iran: A bloody history may be about to repeat itself (London Daily Telegraph)
- New leader for Pakistani Taliban (London Daily Telegraph)
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