Firing Line: Conversation Week #3 August 2016
a. AUSA Five Things - “Partnering with robots?”
AUSA Five Things: A Weekly Tip Sheet for AUSA Members, dated August 8, 2016: “Can Tools Be Teammates?”
Dr. Stuart Young, chief of the Army Research Laboratory’s branch for asset control and behavior, says today’s robots are “tools” but “we want to make them organic team members with our soldiers.” Advances in artificial intelligence and the sharing of real-time information to improve situational awareness would make robots more of a partner than a tool, he suggests.
What to watch: Rapid robotic advances are part of the so-called Third Offset Strategy for military modernization that attempts through innovation and experimentation to provide advanced capabilities. Teaming of soldiers and robotics requires a complicated balance of the ability of the robot to operate autonomously while ultimately remaining under human control.
b. NCO and Soldier Programs - “New proposal for military exchange online shopping.”
The Defense Department’s Executive Resale Board voted unanimously August 9 to recommend a change in policy to allow honorably discharged veterans to shop the military exchange online. Historically, shopping privileges at the Service Exchanges has been limited to those service members and their families who have a valid military ID Card. Those allowed to shop at the Exchange; in the brick and mortar stores and online, include Regular Army, Army National Guard, Army Reserve, Retired Soldiers, Army Civilians stationed overseas and their families. The new proposal would allow those veterans who were honorably discharged from their respective military service to only shop online at the Exchange. How do you personally see this initiative as having a positive and/or negative impact on the services?
c. AUSA Moderator – “No nasal mist flu vaccinations this year.”
“There will be shots but no nasal mist during flu vaccinations from the Army this year following a June decision by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that the popular nasal spray vaccine is less effective.
“Army officials have announced they expect 1.6 million injectable flu shots to be given during the 2016–2017 flu season, which usually begins in October and ends in May.
“The Army provides flu vaccinations to soldiers, federal civilians and beneficiaries of the Army health care system. This includes Regular Army, Army National Guard and Army Reserve soldiers, retirees and eligible family members.”
Click here to read more: https://www.ausa.org/news/army-plans-only-shots-no-nasal-mist-flu-vaccinations
d. AUSA Five Things – “Security of Army electronic health care records.”
AUSA Five Things: A Weekly Tip Sheet for AUSA Members, dated August 15, 2016: “Reviewing Health Records Privacy.”
Security of the Army’s electronic health care records will be getting a closer review by the Defense Department Inspector General to ensure identifiable information about patients is being properly protected. The Army isn’t being singled out because of any problems, but it is just the first up in a planned series of audits.
What to watch: The audit starts this month, with visits planned to Fort Carson, Colo., and Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. They’ll look at the Army’s security protocols and how they are implemented. A public report won’t be available until 2017.
THIS WEEK'S POLL QUESTION:
(1) Does the Army have too many generals?
o Not sure