WASHINGTON — Noncommissioned officers across the Army will gain a new leadership reference tool next year, Sergeant Major of the Army Michael Weimer announced Wednesday afternoon at the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual conference.

The “Army Blue Book and Digital Library,” as the program is tentatively named, is under development with the Army Software Factory and Training and Doctrine Command, Weimer added. He said their goal is to begin beta testing the platform in fall 2024.

According to Weimer, the blue book app will be a one-stop shop for Army enlisted leaders who want to know “what right looks like.” It will include Army and unit history information, philosophical references like values and creeds, up-to-date information on standards and discipline, clearly defined leader responsibilities, and a digital library containing the service’s most commonly referenced regulations and other publications.

In an interview after the announcement, Weimer explained that he intends for the app to clearly communicate authoritative standards, which he argued will in turn empower noncommissioned officers to raise the community’s baseline level of discipline.

Where things currently stand, “there’s fear to enforce the standards,” for junior noncommissioned officers sometimes, Weimer acknowledged.

Training and Doctrine Command officials said that the blue book is intended to supplement existing programs like the MySquad application developed during now-retired Sergeant Major of the Army Michael Grinston’s tenure.

The Army also plans to include a feedback mechanism in the application that will allow soldiers to suggest ideas to service senior leaders. The feature will not be anonymous, however.

Weimer’s blue book announcement wasn’t the only application announced at the conference. Installation Management Command is developing a My Army Post application — also in conjunction with the Army Software Factory — that will offer real-time information about installation resources like gate hours, gym facilities, chow halls and more.

Davis Winkie covers the Army for Military Times. He studied history at Vanderbilt and UNC-Chapel Hill, and served five years in the Army Guard. His investigations earned the Society of Professional Journalists' 2023 Sunshine Award and consecutive Military Reporters and Editors honors, among others. Davis was also a 2022 Livingston Awards finalist.

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