The Combined Arms Center: Advancing in a New Frontier

Monday March 16, 2009

What’s it all about?

One year ago, the Combined Arms Center (CAC) launched its own blog. Meant to stimulate discussion and promote the exchange of ideas at "the intellectual center of the Army," the blog has experienced tremendous growth since its inception. The enlistment of new media in the military cause has served as a catalyst for change, breaking down institutional barriers to innovative means and encouraging the Army to tell its story through a non-traditional medium.

With 39 distinct blogs from diverse organizations, 598 registered users, 459 posts and 1,858 comments, the CAC blog is one of the Army’s most dynamic. Last month, the blog generated nearly a million page views, and the popularity grows daily. RSS feeds from other organizations such as the Small Wars Journal and COMOPS Journal, enabling users to scan content from other sites while answering polling questions and viewing the latest blog posts.

What has the CAC blog accomplished?

Numbers aside, it has provided a new frontier for intellectual exchange among students at the Command and General Staff College, faculty, interested outside parties and other groups. To name only a few, discussion topics range from new military concepts such as Design to engagement in cyberspace and Afghanistan. The overall positive experience with the CAC blog demonstrates the Army continues to embrace new media and is further expanding its capabilities.

Why is this important to the Army?

The contemporary operational environment witnesses hybrid threats emanating from a variety sources, both traditional and unconventional. Non-state actors use the Internet as a strategic weapon, uploading material intended to sway neutral parties and gain followers. If the Army is to counter this kind of threat, then the Army must learn to engage new media for strategic advantage. Meanwhile, by breaking down cultural barriers against the new media, the Combined Arms Center affords DOD enormous assistance in developing new capabilities for successful transition to an uncertain future.

What’s next for the Combined Arms Center?

CAC plans to continue upgrading its blog by adding more interactive content such as vlogs, or video logs, while increasing userability through design upgrades. In addition, the CAC YouTube site continues to draw new visitors, even as the organization steps up its efforts to provide more video content. As evidenced by ARMY.MIL’s usage of Twitter and other communication platforms, these formats hold great promise for the future.

Resources:

USCAC Blog Library

USCAC Web site

You Tube: CAC Frontier6

INFORMATION YOU CAN USE

A CULTURE OF ENGAGEMENT

SOCIAL NETWORKING

PROFESSIONAL WRITING

Army Professional Writing

WHAT'S BEING SAID IN BLOGS

ABOUT THE ARMY

WAR ON TERROR

OF INTEREST

WORLD VIEW

STAND-TO! SPORTS

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Events

2009: Year of the NCO

2009: 100th Anniversary of the Chaplain Assistant

March 2009:

- National Women's History Month: Army Heritage and History Web site

- Brain Injury Awareness Month: U.S. Army Medical Department Web site

SENIOR LEADERS ARE SAYING

"Reversing direction and succumbing to old habits and ways of doing things is not an option. Throughout American history, the Army has led the way and it will continue to do so especially in this new frontier."

- Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell, IV, commanding general of the Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, in a recent blog post

One year later: The Combined Arms Center blog

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

Year of the Noncommissioned Officer

"I was very lucky to have been able to experience different cultures at a young age. This prepared me for my own military career, even though I didn't know it at the time."

- Sgt. Gregory Gayfield Jr, a native of Radcliff, Ky., a third generation Soldier who describes himself as being born with combat boots on

Military brat has Army, Fort Knox running through his veins

STAND-TO!

STAND-TO! is an information paper-based web platform that supports the U.S. Army’s strategic communication objectives.

The information papers -- written, approved and submitted by the Army agencies -- provide a broad, objective view of the Army’s current operations, doctrine and programs. The "Today’s Focus" topics highlight Army Staff initiatives and support Army wide strategic-level issues.

All published editions are sent to subscribers via email and archived daily in the STAND-TO! Archives.

STAND-TO! falls under the management of the Online and Social Media Division (OSMD) in the Office of the Chief of Public Affairs (OCPA).

Subscribe to STAND-TO! to learn about the U.S. Army initiatives.