Army Launches Wiki Field Manuals

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 14, 2009 3:22 AM CDT
Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey holds a copy of a new Army operations manual during an appearance before the Senate Armed Services Committee.   (AP Photo/Dennis Cook)
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(Newser) – The US Army has borrowed an idea—and some software—from Wikipedia to introduce field manuals any soldier can edit, the New York Times reports. Seven manuals have been opened for editing by anybody from private to general in a trial program the military says is an effort to close the gap between the Army theorists coming up with doctrine and the experienced soldiers ordered to live by it.

A team is assigned to review edits to each manual, and no anonymous edits are allowed. "If you ever thought what would I do if the Army let me write doctrine, now is your chance,’" said the colonel in charge of the program. Responses from top brass have ranged from "the best thing since sliced bread" to "the craziest idea I have ever heard,” the colonel said.