Thursday, August 06, 2009

Telling the Fort Bragg story

"Digital life downrange:
Preparing online activities for deployment

by Spc. Michael J. MacLeod
1st BCT, 82nd Abn. Div. PAO
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Do as I do is how the best Army noncommissioned officers roll, any scuffed-up private will tell you. Prepare as I prepare, says Staff Sgt. Wavell Williams, a three-time veteran and data systems integrator who often counsels paratroopers on how to carry on their online lives downrange."

Soldiers don’t need to buy a $3,500 satellite dish system as Williams is doing to gain Web access for himself and 70 fellow paratroopers of 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division for their upcoming deployment to Iraq. But, the sergeant pointed out, prior planning prevents painful surprises downrange.Before deployment, online banking, bill-paying and Internet communications tools should be set up and understood by Soldiers and those with whom they share financial responsibilities, such as spouses and other Family members, said Williams.“A spouse needs to know Web site addresses, usernames, passwords, account numbers — make sure you set that up before leaving, because you get downrange and, God forbid, you are not able to get on the phone and you have bills coming due back here, the creditors don’t care,” he said.Web mail, instant messenger and voice-over-IP accounts should be established and tested, especially on the home computer, said Williams.

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