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www.huh?/From Kids to Doctrine -- Armed Forces On Line

By Doug Gillert
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 21, 1998 – I heard an Air Force staff sergeant the other day complaining to a friend that he never gets to read Airman, his service's official magazine. He said somebody always takes home the few copies his office gets before he sees it.

I caught up with him as he walked ahead of me down an office hallway and told him I'd heard him talking to his buddy.

"Don't you know you can read Airman on the Internet?" I asked him.

"No way," he replied.

"Way-y-y-y," I replied.

The fact is, almost anything you can read in a newspaper or magazine you also can read online. That's especially true within DoD.

Start at DefenseLINK, DoD's home page. The newly redesigned site is scheduled to go live July 23. Visitors should find its new look more appealing, useful and easier to use, especially its one-click access to DoD's popular multimedia gallery. Just log on to the Internet and point your Web browser to: http://www.defenselink.mil/. By clicking on any icon or hyperlink, you can zip to the various DoD organizations, the service branches, or one of the other possible "sites of interest," such as key initiatives and military operations.

Many other military sites also include excellent photographs, exciting graphics, even multimedia presentations. They're easy to access and easy to use. Like DefenseLINK, these sites are not only for service members. Military family members will find useful information about new bases they're moving to, how to prepare for travel, schools, vacation opportunities, and a whole lot more.

The following sites are only a handful of the hundreds of defense-related home pages you can visit on the World Wide Web. Think of the Web as a long highway with lots of interesting places along the way. You may have a particular destination in mind, but don't hesitate to get off and explore other places as you go. It's no different from the family vacation: Taking interesting detours to new places along the Information Highway makes the journey a lot more rewarding and fun. Think of these, then, as DoD's "major cities" on the Internet:

DefenseLINK Besides linking you to each separate service branch, this site offers news, fact sheets, speeches, briefing transcripts and in- depth reports on DoD people, places and programs. You also can access the American Forces Press Service (http://www.dtic.mil/afps) to read news and feature articles about DoD people, places and events.

JCS Link This site (http://www.dtic.mil/jcs) provides current information about the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joint Staff and the combatant commands. You'll also find a well-stocked library of information about historical and current events. To get the inside scoop on the Joint Chiefs organization, read the J-Scope electronic newsletter (http://www.dtic.mil/jcs/j_scope.html).

The U.S. Army Home Page This extensive web site (http://www.army.mil) gives you a high ground view of the Army and includes photographs, a daily broadcast from the Pentagon, a guide to every Army post, command, school, recreation center, exercise and operation worldwide. Current news releases about soldiers on the job range from fighting fires in Florida to integrating the Army National Guard, Army Reserve and active Army. Read the latest copy of Soldiers Online (http://www.dtic.mil/soldiers), billed as the "sister" of Soldiers, the Army's official magazine.

U.S. Navy: Welcome Aboard Ship bells ring you aboard the Navy's official home page (http://www.navy.mil) where you can sail vs. cruise the Information Highway. Learn about the Navy's fleet of flattops, a.k.a. aircraft carriers. Find out what ships and units are currently deployed to the Persian Gulf region. View photos of the Navy-Marine Corps team as they exercise and train in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. And check out this month's edition of the All Hands magazine (http://www.chinfo.navy.mil/navpalib/allhands/ah-top.html).

Air Force Link One of the best sites on the Internet, period. Air Force Link (http://www.af.mil) has always set the standard not only for DoD, but also for the federal government. It's easy to navigate and showcases what the Air Force is best known for -- blue skies and fast airplanes. The home page photo -- of airmen at work somewhere in the world -- changes every time you access the site. Also on the main page are "top story," "featured site" and "spotlight" categories that highlight significant current events and activities. Click on "Airman" (http://www.af.mil/news/airman) to learn more.

United States Marine Corps Click on the glossy photograph of the Marine Corps emblem -- eagle, globe and anchor -- to learn how the Corps has been "making Marines and winning battles since 1775" (http://www.usmc.mil). Read what the commandant of the Marine Corps has to say, find out where Marine expeditionary units are currently deployed and read the current issue of Marines magazine (http://www.usmc.mil/marines.nsf).

The National Guard The National Guard Bureau provides oversight for the federal missions of the Army and Air National Guard. For example (and you can read about it at http://www.ngb.army.mil/noshock.htm), the Guard recently gained responsibility for carrying out a major chunk of DoD's civil anti-terrorism plan. For more, read On Guard online at http://www.ngb.army.mil/grdnews/onguard.

Before I pull into a much-needed rest area, let me take you to one other site. This one talks to teen-agers, particularly those who are being uprooted by a permanent-change-of-station move.

Military Teens on the Move (/mtom) will greatly ease their burden and worries -- and most likely bring relief to parents as well. The site contains information about bases, weather, school activities, college and university enrollment, career planning, health, money, and volunteerism. It also offers a youth sponsorship program, where teen-agers can make connections and get information before they arrive at their new home.

This smattering of DoD Web sites will help launch your exploration of the Internet -- and may help you keep informed and better prepared to make smart choices in your professional and personal lives. There are many more sites worth visiting along the way. Bon voyage!

Questions or comments? E-mail djgille@hq.afis.osd.mil.

NOTE: Joint Ethics Regulation (DoD 550.7-R, section 2-301) spells out legal and illegal use of federal communications resources while on the job. In general, the restrictions that guide office telephone use also govern Internet use. See your supervisor or local computer policy experts for details.

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