Making the grade. This month, soldiers at three more Army installations'including one in Korea'enlisted in free online courses through the eArmyU program.

In addition to Camp Casey, Korea, two other installations'Fort Drum, N.Y., and Fort Bragg, N.C.'joined eight other Army sites in offering the program to soldiers. They can pursue degrees at 24 colleges and universities across the country.

Currently, more than 23,000 soldiers are enrolled in eArmyU, and 52 have completed degrees, according to program officials. Two-thirds of the soldiers are pursuing associate's degrees, 27 percent are pursuing bachelor's degrees, 4 percent are going for postsecondary certificates and 2 percent are seeking master's degrees, according to Army officials.

Among the most popular majors are general studies, business administration, information systems management and criminal justice.

Over the next five years, the Army will offer online courses to 80,000 soldiers.

Each soldier participating in the program gets a notebook PC, printer, e-mail account, Internet access, books, and academic and technical support.

Credits are transferable among all the participating colleges.

Biometric test. The Army Communications'Electronics Command and the Defense Department's Biometrics Management Office will team up later this year to test fingerprint technology on the Army's tactical Network Operations Center-Vehicle.

The exercise will test biometrics in simulated homeland defense scenarios, including cyberwarfare, according to Defense officials.

The Army uses the tactical vehicle to provide network management for classified and unclassified data and voice networks in the field.

'This test effort is a significant step toward enhancing information security procedures for brigade combat teams in the field,' said Linda Dean, director of the biometrics office. 'It will also benefit DOD as this effort will encourage feedback from warfighters about the use of biometrics in a tactical environment.'

BMO's test facility and CECOM will evaluate fingerprint authentication systems under harsh environmental conditions, officials said.

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