How Do You Chart Your Course When the Target Keeps Changing? (Part2)

Global army communication

Continue... (Previous Part1)

A Cascade of Transitions

Information technology dark side is only one of the wrenching meta-mutations besetting this generation, joining as it does the economic, environmental and societal aggravations already at work. Change is no longer an event, its a permanently ongoing process. That the subject of this column: Pervasive change as it affects or is likely to affect MARS.

So how do you set your course when the destination is always changing? As the saying goes, used to it.”

I can testify from personal experience that Army MARS is undergoing transformation beyond anything experienced previously in my 20-odd years as a member under three full-term Chiefs —going on four.

Yes, losing the MARS gram business was a momentous distraction. So was the heartbreaking farewell to CW that followed. So, too, the inevitable adjustment to digital new dominance in place of voice.

And now theres the difficult —for some, excruciating —migration from familiar amateur digital modes to the military arcane M110a and M110b protocols, with ALE (Automatic Link Establishment) waiting in the wings at Army MARS. The other branches have it in hand long since.

Yet throughout those successive miniculture shocks, the organizational fabric of MARS remained intact. The stem old top-down military model survived despite built-in problems for an organization of volunteers —in particular, for an organization of historically and incurably unbuttoned hams.

That Over With Now

Stephen Klinefelter, a retired colonel who is back in service as civilian staff officer, perceived the anachronism and began transforming Army MARS from his first day as Chief of Army MARS.

will strengthen processes and communications to meet our future challenge,”Klinefelter said in his initial Chiefs Message last April. will improve governance, communications top to bottom, discipline, and an understanding of the changes happening in our Army.”As this is being written three months later, a new governance structure is already in place and members should soon have access to the boss for expressing their suggestions and gripes —via his Facebook page.

That really is change, though not as radical as it might sound. In the overall military environment prevailing today, soldiers can freely air their views directly to the commanders’ Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter channels. Top-down-only is passe in the age of social media.

Continued... Part 3

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