Article: Renew PS for the Scrolling Soldier
This morning, our partners at the Modern War Institute published “Master Sergeant Half Mast and the Scrolling Soldier: A Proposal to Renew PS Magazine.” In in, Captain Theo Lipsky argues that “[r]ather than shutter PS Magazine, the Army can adapt it for social media.”
And adapting PS makes sense. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with three CW5s—the absolute pinnacle of Army maintenance—who affirmed the importance of PS and the need to reach young audiences were they are.
As a testament to the importance of PS to maintenance, the Ordnance Corps will induct Master Sergeant Half-Mast into their Hall of Fame this May. The Half-Mast nomination characterized his savings as “safe to estimate in the millions of dollars per year.” PS’ faster speed than technical manual updates, listings of correct stock numbers, and periodic look-backs into their articles by system made it an invaluable and accessible resource. Terminating PS save money in one account, but with “cross PEG” costs to maintenance, training, and sustainment.
Given PS’ unique and important role, Lipsky argues for adapting it for the scrolling soldier. As today’s CW5s grew up on the comic form of PS, today’s soldiers have smart phones in their hands.
Platforms such as Instagram (where PS’s present account has posted twice in the past year) are ready venues. Anyone who has walked an Army maintenance bay today knows phones are at hand, and social media apps are already on them, unlike Army apps. Instagram’s very interface, with paneled galleries, lends itself to PS’s comics. With only a little work, historical PS comics on equipment still in service may find a ready audience in the scrolling soldier.
As the Harding Project works to make the Army’s journals more accessible, the Army could adapt PS for the scrolling soldier. Read the full article over at West Point’s Modern War Institute.