The Army will build a new blue book and blue book app to reinforce standards and discipline across the service, the Army’s top enlisted leader said.
The Army Software Factory in Austin, Texas leads the initiative, scheduled to release by October 2024.
The app will contain the non-commissioned officer and Soldier creeds and feature a set of standards that will remain uniform across the Army including leadership responsibilities. A digital library in the app will link to other service publications and units can add their own unique history.
The new blue book mobile app will eventually be able to provide instant updates and alerts when the Army passes a new regulation. Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael R. Weimer said that adopting clear, service-wide reference, like the new blue book, will be critical in future conflicts.
“You can’t build standards and discipline in a time of crisis,” Weimer said during his initiatives briefing at the Association of the U.S. Army Annual Meeting and Exposition in Washington Wednesday. “If we’re really going to be truly ready for large-scale combat operations, we have to have those standards and discipline before we get called upon for that.”
Army Training and Doctrine Command Sgt. Maj. Raymond Harris will form an operational planning team to seek Soldier feedback to help create the app across the three service components, Active Duty, Army Reserve, and Army National Guard.
The Army created the blue book as a guide for all Soldiers for standards, discipline and culture. Soldiers will receive the document upon entering Basic Combat Training. The book establishes Army ethics early in a Soldier’s career to introduce new troops to the Army’s culture and form their moral core.
Weimer said the responsibility of enforcing the Army’s standards remains with its NCO corps.
“The foundational document will be the same for all of us, period,” Weimer said. “You still have to lead and still have to have the personal courage to live the standard and enforce the standard.”
Concerns over the erosion of discipline and adherence to service regulations grew during the coronavirus pandemic when many Soldiers teleworked from home for the first time.
“I think COVID-19 really highlighted an issue with standards and discipline,” Weimer said.
Weimer said that Army Chief of Staff Gen. Randy A. George’s transition team held more than 500 conversations with division commanders and division sergeants major, and the most frequent topic was standards and discipline.
Harris said Soldiers have had some questions about the clarity of current Army standards and their interpretation. He said that the new blue book will provide needed specificity.
“We’re going to remove some of that ambiguity, so you leaders and Soldiers feel empowered or are empowered to make that change and correction,” Harris said. “And you’re not afraid to do it.”