US Websites Platoonleader Companycommand

Discussion in 'Officers' started by Bombard, Nov 23, 2005.

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  1. These websites created independently of the US military, but subsequently sponsored by it.

    Similar to Arrse, they started as a small community website, and then developed into a major source of information and support to junior and company officers'.

    Has anybody visited them, and can any of our spam cousins say if they're effective or not?

    You need a 'army knowledge online' account to gain access, and it looks like furriners cant get one.
  2. Well I've just e-mail their web-team to see if they can't open it up to e-mail addresses too. We'll see what they say!
  3. I was a member of for while, before they restricted access. Apparently, a journo started posting articles based on information gained, so they limited membership to .mil addresses :( The two guys who set it up were certainly switched on. They even published a book on being a Company Commander - "Taking the Guidon", IIRC - good effort, but very US Army.

    Anyway, it was terribly serious and worthy. You know, like the Staff College and Officers' Fora, but with less humour. Certainly no NAAFI bar, and definitely no ARRSEpedia.... Sort of like the difference between BFBS and AFN, if you get my drift.

    Interesting, though - if you thought we were paper-driven, you should see their setup. They seem to have to generate endless unit-level SOPs, rather than having army-wide SOPs (an example would be our readiness state entry in the TAM; you know, Immed NTM, 5 min NTM, 15min NTM, etc) not to mention having a far more explicit training setup. Comes of having the Ops Offr as a Major and all the OCs as Captains, I suppose.
  4. I emailed them last week, got this reply:

    "Sxxx, I have bad news. We are a quasi-official organization sponsored by the US Military Academy, and have some fairly strict access requirements imposed on us. One is that users MUST have an Army Knowledge Online (AKO account), which foreign soldiers are not authorized. This effectively means that no matter how much we would LIKE allied officers to participate, it is not possible. Mark2, for teamplatoonleader"

    I suspect part of the reason for it becoming so valued was the seriousness of it: Just Shop, no Bar. If you'd a serious question you got a serious answer.

    Can you tell us how it was laid out? your standard infor-portal or more discussion forum?
  5. ViroBono

    ViroBono LE Moderator


    I hope you replied and pointed out that we are British, and it is they who are foreign!
  6. Discussion forums, lots of "Lessons Learned" feedback, piles of useful documents (training plans, lesson plans, policy documents), software from a bloke who'd set up an Aide Memoire on his Palm Pilot (think of all the Filofax inserts that you used to be able to get, but for a PDA). Well set up. They switched off outside access about the time they went into Afghanistan, and definitely pre-TELIC.

    Bear in mind that the Americans ran unit training setups like NTC to do war-fighting, and that at this time they didn't have an OPTAG equivalent; the point at which the US Army though "hang on, this is worthwhile" was when the blokes just back from ops were answering questions and allowing commanders in their work-up phase to improve the training and admin of their guys.

    The major difference was that it was completely open; you could find out who and where any contributor was, if you wished. Made asking questions like "what's the MQs like at Fort Huachuca" slightly easier.
  7. I wonder;

    Could do something similar, by setting up a private forum, and verifing that all subscribers are/were platoon commanders and their current roles? or is it as easy to keep it in officer forum?

    The openness is fine in an organisation the size of the US army- in one slightly less than half the Marine Corps, it might be more intimate than desired. But I can see the advantages. It means that posts reflect directly on a persons reputation with users, and can encourage top quality posts, (equally it ca inhibit people)

    edited to catch up with Gravelbelly
  8. Shirley thats what the official site is for? (If you wish to post as a 'known player').

    Lets not try and make this place demi or semi official. It would lose it's reputation!
  9. God no! Official Means Death!

    But the very anonymity might be more of an advantage- on the internet, no-one knows you're a dog. (hopefully...)

    And that might mean that posts are more open, and less guarded for fear of getting on someone’s tits.

    Equally, I'm not suggesting that the public forums become infected with dry earnest advice- But that a private forum might be possible for those infected by a need to discuss doctrine, discipline and dummies
  10. I know what you're getting at, but I reckon this functionality is already freely available in this forum, and JSCSC & Staff College as well. The principal disadvantage of your scheme would be that folks who aren't members of this 'hidden' board wouldn't be able to see it, and therefore wouldn't be aware of it as a newcomer. After all, why did you join? Because you either got told by a mate - or you randomly found it whilst hunting for specialist porn.

    I would also ask 'where will it end?' If we start allowing every single community in the Army have their own little playgrounds, it will a bl00dy nightmare to moderate, even more of a pain to administrate, and will lead to all business being conducted behind 'closed doors' with only the occassional cracking thread in the NAAFI popping into the open - along with all the usual rubbish.

    In summary, if you want to discuss doctrine et al, please feel free to pop along to 'JSCSC & Staff College' - we are terribly serious and worthy in there, but we also realise everyone has an opinion - and the right to express it.
  11. You're right, I stumbled on this place through mispelling. I was trying to find out what was wrong with my arse, and found here.*

    Unfortunatly/fortunatly, the staff college is way about my oxygen tolerance.

    I reckon that lumps me in with the Dummies, then.
  12. I have good news. There is a plan to do something exactly like this in UK with an initial trial starting in the spring 06. There is work ongoing to open a secure site behind ArmyNet. Using the ArmyNet portal allows for the security of 128bit encryption and validated membership. The team at ArmyNet realise that much work is needed on making the site more accessible and have hired 2 x civvie web-designers to assist. The professional forum will be based on MS SharePoint and will be able to hold files and allows for threaded conversations.

    The CompanyCommand equivalent will be called either or and will be designed to connect all land-minded sub-unit commanders (Army, RM and RAF Regt), allow them to converse, and share good practice (and stamp out bad practice). It will be an open site (no anonymity) to enable people to connect more easily and trust the responses that their submissions provoke.

    There is a RMCS dissertation written by Maj C S MacGregor (2005) called " Increasing military capability through online Communities of Practice" that is doing the rounds in HQ LAND, LWC and DGD&D. This sells the idea of CoPs and why it would be important for the military to formally adopt this initiative.

    The site to be opened in Spring 06 is a proof of principle - if there is support for it the idea (both by military users and the hierarchy) and is accepted into the mil there will be other sites opened (i.e. one for Plt Comds, one for SO2s, one for SNCOs etc etc as demand requires).

    Hope this helps,

  13. What I wold like is a forum on here for people such as myself (working in Defence R&D) to be able to ask questions and for people to post their opinions.

    I obviously go therough official routes, but when i have posted queries on here, i normally get a more truthful answer, IE the book answer v's the way it is really done!

    DO people think they would be willing to look in such a forum and give an opinion?

  14. This is a syndrome I have seen before. Something on the foundation of something overwhelms the original. THe original withers. People get fed up with the newby and want to come back - there's nothing left anymore.
    Fully understand idea and possible benefits, but, please keep it away from my ARRSE!