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Army Examines Fitness App

TAMPA, FL -- Smartphone apps soon may be the new personal trainers for Army soldiers in the field. The winner of the Apps for the Army contest was a Physical Training Program app designed to help troops develop their own physical training programs.

The winners of the first-ever contest were announced at the recent 2010 Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association’s LandWarNet conference held in Tampa, FL. The Army solicited app design ideas for the contest and offered a top prize of $3,000. Fifty-three apps were entered by a total of 141 soldiers and Army civilian workers.

The winning physical training app, designed by Maj. Greg Motes of the Army School of Information Technology at Fort Gordon, GA, converts the new Army physical readiness doctrine into a searchable, mobile format.

“I heard a general comment on a new fitness manual being circulated, and it was 400 pages long,” Motes told reporters. “We didn’t want to drop a PDF into an app, so we sat down and broke the guide down, added multimedia.”

The app features exercise photos and videos to make the physical training guide more user-friendly.

The general behind the contest, Lt. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sorenson, Army chief information officer, said some apps will be in the field within a year.

“Each application will help overcome mission-related challenges through the power of mobile and web devices,” Sorenson said in a statement. “This pilot program is helping define the business processes needed to make it easier to develop applications and certify software for the Army enterprise.”

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