U.S. Army iPhone App Lets Soldiers Blog From Anywhere

Army iPhone app

The Army has launched a new iPhone app that embraces both the hot-to-trot social media trend and booming smartphone sales.

According to Army press notes, the new app is a "natural extension of the Army's ongoing commitment to engage potential recruits via social media channels." It's dubbed "Army Strong Stories," as part of the developing Army Strong recruitment/PR drive, and it's a two-way portal to Army-related news and to enable "users to share their own Army Strong story, post comments" and promote the Army via career-related info.

In particular the app's designed to let users "upload written content, photos and videos," meaning that it "enables every army soldier to blog anytime, anywhere." There's also a free website that mimics some of the same skills, and it's designed to be compatible with iOS, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Android and webOS.

With past recruiting slumps in mind (2010 by contrast was a "banner year," the Army is seemingly trying to maximize the exposure to this new facility, and it specifically mentions recent Nielsen research data that shows 50% of Americans will own a smartphone by the end of 2011--meaning an increasing number of soldiers will also be using the devices to read news and connect to people, particularly if they're away from their home base, their home, or colleagues. Army PR notes that the Army recruiting page on Facebook already has 76,000 fans, over a thousand Twitter followers, and "more than 92,000 MySpace fans."

 

To read more news like this, follow Fast Company on Twitter: Click here.

Add New Comment

2 Comments

  • Bruce Jasurda

    Your piece on the Army's new iPhone application could not have been more inaccurate or disappointingly biased.

    First, the reference to the Army's "desperation" to recruit new soldiers and your assertion that the Army has been in a "recruiting slump the past few years".......linking a 2005 NBC clip as contemporaneous fact....is wrong. The Army has met or exceeded its recruiting numbers for the last five years in a row (every year since the 2005 article you referenced) and we are well poised to do it again this year. In the last several years we have not only exceeded our recruiting numbers, but also continue to improve the quality of recruits we are bringing into your Army.
    http://www.army.mil/-news/2010...

    Then there's the digitally-challenged innuendo that the Army is "leaping (a little late) on whatever bandwagon" because we count MySpace fans. (We keep track of ALL our social computing program fans. Guilty.) Funny, in its April 12, 2010 Fast Company didn’t agree with your inference when it named goarmy.com as one of the best government sites on the net. "Amazing" the headline read.
    http://www.fastcompany.com/pic...

    Finally, your line that the Army is wary of allowing its soldiers to engage in "real, open-ended online activity" and also indicates that "the only messages that'll be 'shared' from within this new app are likely to promote only the positive aspects of Army" is uninformed and runs counter to previous coverage in Fast Company. In a November 2009 piece about Army Strong Stories titled, "Raw Honesty as a Social Media Strategy: The US Army," another Fast Company writer wrote, "Military blogs which showcase the everyday lives and unfiltered emotions of enlisted servicemen have become a major arm of the US Army's recruitment strategy. The Army sees negative posts as illustrative of the kinds of ups and downs that new recruits should expect. Ultimately, social media is less like an advertising platform and more like a dating service: selling is about finding a good match, not just a willing buyer."
    http://www.fastcompany.com/blo...

    We have taken great strides over the last several years to become more open and to engage our recruits online in a real, authentic way. In fact, the goal of Army Strong Stories (which first launched in 2008) is to share unfiltered, authentic Army stories from our greatest asset -- our soldiers. We do not edit the content on the site (save from derogatory or false information or that which may jeopardize our soldiers' security), and encourage our bloggers and other storytellers to talk about their real experiences -- regardless of whether or not they are positive or negative. I encourage you to spend some time on armystrongstories.com to see for yourself the variety of stories that have been posted, all shared through this new app, and then make the determination on whether the site is "unmistakably biased." Even the blogs from soldiers deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq.
    http://armystrongstories.com/

    Look forward to seeing this story corrected with this updated information.

    Respectfully,

    Bruce Jasurda, Chief Marketing Officer
    U.S. Army Accessions Command

  • Tyler Gray

    Bruce, I've made some edits to this story that address inaccuracies and speculation.