Between the hours soldiers have to spend online for professional military education and the possibilities a handheld, touchscreen device could hold downrange, the Army is taking a step toward developing a standard-issue device for every soldier.

The team at PEO Soldier has come up with a prototype that they recently presented to the Army’s top enlisted soldier, Sergeant Major of the Army Dan Dailey said Tuesday.

“I’m an advocate of, every soldier has a device,” Dailey said.

The prototype is a large tablet-like device, he added.

“Operationally, they can use it while they’re on the battlefield,” Dailey said. “It could have a number of apps that would assist them in their capabilities with land navigation, communication, [and] ... I asked for the capability to extend that resource to be able to use it for institutional reasons as well.”

That would include being able to do professional military education courses and tests on the device with a Common Access Card reader.

“That’s how civilian education works,” Command Sgt. Maj. Dave Davenport, the senior enlisted soldier at Training and Doctrine Command, added. “These young people are all on smart phones and tablets.”

Details on if and when to issue a device will have to be hammered out, but Davenport said that some pilots have already taken place, with soldiers bringing in their own hardware.