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Military Plans Internal "Apps for Army" Contest

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, September 11 2009

Army CIO Lieutenant General Jeffrey Sorenson announced at the Gov 2.0 Summit yesterday that the Pentagon will be launching an "Apps for the Army" challenge, modeled on such past "Apps for" contests like the DC city government's Apps for Democracy, the Sunlight Foundation's Apps for America, and New York City's ongoing Big Apps. The Apps-for-x framework, while innovative, is fairly simple: free government data, and create some small incentive for people to make use of it. What gives Apps for the Army an interesting twist is that it is geared towards internal innovation. The project is Army-only, and will play out on the military's restricted Forge.mil open-source repository. The folks who will ultimately use the open-source apps are the same folks who will design them.

"If I could get my soldiers, my NCOs out in the field to create new applications, solve problems for me, then I'm not fighting the budget battle," Major General Nickolas Justice told InformationWeek, which has more good information on the project. Fuller details are expected by the end of the month. (An aside: How awesome a name is "Major General Justice"?)