FORT MONROE, Va. (Feb. 7, 2011) - Lt. Col. Greg Motes, the 2010 U.S. Army Capabilities Integration Center and Association of the United States Army writing contest winner, candidly recalls entering the contest on a whim.

"The Thursday before the contest, my boss gave me the flyer and asked me if I was going to submit something," he said. "The day the entries were due, I sat down and was curious if I could write 5,000 words in one day. Throughout the day, it became a challenge, which drove me to complete it."

While Motes, a PhD candidate, wrote the winning piece in a day, it addressed a topic he had studied for years. Titled "Looking Forward: People First", his entry is about considerations to prepare the Soldier of 2025 with information needed to best do his or her job.

"My background is in appreciating the needs of the user, education and technology, so the opportunity to provide my view of the issues that will face us in 2025 (as well as the potential) was something that I knew would be fun to write, and would be right in the 'sweet spot' of ideas that I have been developing for years," he said. "The topic of mobile devices, situation awareness and training are very close to my work and academic experiences - partly tied into the dissertation that I am writing."

"Some of it is technical: building a network and crating apps that allow the data to be presented and manipulated by the Soldier. Other parts are about the cultural and institutional changes that will be required to get us to goals of getting that data to the Soldier," he said.

"In the end, though, it is about the Soldier. Making sure we are doing everything we can to get the best available information to the Soldiers wherever they are to make the best decisions possible."

The writing contest allowed Motes to bring his ideas to the attention of senior leaders and he encourages those interested to pursue the opportunity. Motes was awarded $1,000 as a prize and was able to meet retired Gen. Gordon Sullivan, president of AUSA, and Lt. Gen. Michael A. Vane, deputy commanding general for Futures and director of ARCIC.

"I believe there are some great visionaries out there who are looking for a venue to express their ideas, and contests like this provide a potential entry into the arena of ideas," he said. "I like writing, and I like self-imposed challenge, and was pleased just to accomplish that. Getting to talk to Gen. Sullivan and Lt. Gen. Vane about apps was another great part about winning."

Motes is now serving as the chief of Mobile Applications Branch at the U.S. Army Signal Center of Excellence at Fort Gordon, Ga. where he writes digital applications that will get information to Soldiers in a convenient way.

Motes was commissioned in the U.S. Army as an armor officer in 1994. He was chosen to be a Functional Area 53 (Information Management Systems) officer and has deployed to Kuwait and Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as well as Germany and the Republic of Korea. Motes also has a master's degree in Information Technology and is a doctoral candidate in Instructional Technology at the University of South Florida, preparing a dissertation titled "Combat Alert Notification Systems Impact on Situational Awareness: Analysis of a User Notification System in a Command and Control Environment".