I'm considering putting together a weekly column here on Blackfive, similar to the "Ask an Infantryman," column, but different. It was inspired by the last question we got from Roger, a mechanical engineering student -- which, by the way, I'm very proud to be associated with the community that penned a lot of those respones -- and it might be cool to turn that into another Blackfive institution. What I'm thinking of is an informal market place that would put people who have ideas for products that will make our military more effective together with people who can make those ideas happen. Primarily these would be active duty, or reservists/guardsmen on active duty with product ideas.
For example, let's say you're a turret gunner on a humvee in Balad, and you think that the current headset you use to communicate with your driver sucks. You write up a title for the problem/product, a description of the problem you're facing, the benefits to be accrued from solving the problem, and your proposed solution (if you have one). These then go up on a weekly basis to Blackfive, as well as to an email list of interested engineers, both civilian and military -- from DARPA to interested mechanical engineering students like Roger -- along with your contact information so they can ask follow through questions.
Similar to "Ask an Infantryman," this would be a community driven project, with facilitation by me but not a lot else. Feel free to drop a line in the comments or to my email -- enlistedswine at the G. As in the Gmail -- if you have any ideas on how to make this work. If you're involved with DARPA, or if you're in procurement, or anything related, I'd like to hear from you. Also would like input from SOCOM on this, as their procurement system has proven itself to be fast, strong, and responsive in recent years.
-- Uber Pig