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Army reformats popular Afghanistan book as an iPad app

Of all the branches of the military, the Army has been in the forefront of interactive instruction through mobile devices. The Combined Arms Support Command Sustainment Center of Excellence has put out dozens of mobile learning apps that educate the public on what the Army is doing or instruct soldiers on how to do their jobs better.

And they have even been developing support infrastructure that will allow soldiers to use their mobile devices more effectively in the field, such as the lightweight battery chargers that the Research, Development and Engineering Command has been developing.

But the textbooks that are used in Army training centers all over the world are still largely static information. They are available as traditional hard-copy texts, or in some cases electronically as a PDF or an ebook, but that is often the extent of how dynamic it gets. Until recently, this was true of even one of the most popular textbooks in recent years, “Vanguard of Valor: Small Unit Actions In Afghanistan.” The book covers eight specific platoon-level operations that took place in Afghanistan, and was so popular among instructors that the Army produced a second volume. Both are available in paperback, or as a free PDF on the Army’s website.

Now the Combat Studies Institute (CSI) of the Combined Arms Center (CAC) has released the first volume of the book in the form of an interactive iPad app. This version replaces static map images with animated GIFs, and integrates audio, video, and interactive graphics to make it a truly interactive learning experience.

This is the first time the Army has re-released a textbook as an interactive app, but it may not be the last. They also plan to make “Vanguard of Valor” for other platforms, but right now you can only get it for the iPad. It is available for free in the iTunes store.

Posted by Greg Crowe on Mar 25, 2013 at 9:39 AM


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