Online Professional Forums Save Lives, Time and Money

Friday February 12, 2010

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."

Resources:

List of BCKS Professional Forums

AKO sign-in required: BCKS Page on AKO

INFORMATION YOU CAN USE

A CULTURE OF ENGAGEMENT

SOCIAL NETWORKING

PROFESSIONAL WRITING

Army Professional Writing

WHAT'S BEING SAID IN BLOGS

ABOUT THE ARMY

OVERSEAS OPERATIONS

OF INTEREST

WORLD VIEW

SPORTS

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Events

February 2010

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

March 2010

Women’s History Month
Brain Injury Awareness Month

Mar. 18: Army Day

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

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