FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (Nov. 13, 2015) -- As the Army's drawdown continues, promotion rates will likely remain unstable and separation boards and Qualitative Service Program Boards will continue for the near future. So, when competing for promotion, Soldiers of all ranks benefit from opportunities to distinguish themselves from their peers. The newly formed Army Press provides one of those opportunities.
The Army Press is one of three directorates of the Army University and operates under the office of the university provost. The press gives Soldiers and civilians several publication options for their writing.
"Most Soldiers, who are competitive for promotion, shoot expert with their weapon, wear the APFT [Army Physical Fitness Test] badge, and perform several additional duties exceptionally well. Writing for an established publication is a great way to stand out on a noncommissioned officer evaluation report and in a promotion board," said Command Sgt. Maj. Micheal Clowser of the Army University.
The Army Press is a point of entry to several publication outlets. Article-length submissions can be considered for publication in Military Review, the NCO Journal, the Army Press Online, the 11 centers of excellence journals, Department of Defense journals, and even some commercial magazines. Book-length submissions can be considered for publication under the Combat Studies Institute Press or Army Press imprints.
"Every submission will be read and considered for publication based on its contribution to topics relevant to the Army and the quality of the writing," said Col. Anna Friederich-Maggard, director of the Army Press. "Writing is one of the most important things we can do across the force to preserve our history, and the Army Press is here to facilitate."
Recent changes to the Army's NCO professional development system put a higher priority on writing. Fort Hood and Fort Bragg are two installations, where Soldiers' writing is being evaluated at NCO Education System schools. Soldiers are expected to demonstrate improved writing skills as they move up in rank.
Army Press editors can help mentor and encourage potential authors, who need assistance with getting started or with publishing an existing work. Press editors also assist writers whose submissions are selected but still need revisions to ensure they are the best they can be prior to publication.
"One of the goals of the Army Press is to encourage Soldiers and civilians to write or become better writers and published authors," said Amanda Hemmingsen, editor for the Army Press. "We do that by working directly with the authors to improve their work and offer recommendations."
The Army Press editorial board will review all submissions, and those selected will go through another review to determine the best publication platform. However, authors can recommend or request publication in specific outlets like the NCO Journal, the Army Press Online, or the centers of excellence journals. Submissions chosen for print publications will go through additional editorial reviews in preparation for final publication.
Submissions chosen for the Army Press website and online forum are edited and made available online. Those not selected are returned to the author with recommended revisions and offered the opportunity to work with an editor and resubmit at another time.
Authors submitting book-size manuscripts are guided through the editorial and publishing processes by a staff comprised of writers, editors, researchers, and historians, who can assist with almost any request.
"Whether it's a book or article that a writer is interested in publishing, the Army Press has the bases covered and the benefits are enormous," Friederich said.
Clowser explained that Soldiers whose submissions are selected for publication will benefit in several ways.
"They can improve their existing writing skills by working with a professional editor and by reading the Army Press publications and the online forum to see what good writing looks like," he said.
The Army Press opened Aug 1.