“CPT O’Brien rubbed his head slowly. He felt certain the plan was solid, but he had been staring stupidly at checkpoint 13 on the digital map for more than thirty seconds. He caught himself and thought, better have someone double check me on this.”
– It Ain’t Much to Look At – Reconnaissance and Security Operations in the Future ABCT Cavalry Troop
The path to understanding the future of conflict is a winding one, but the Army Press has shown that science fiction can help illuminate the way. A recent initiative launched this spring to publish sci-fi stories is already showing results with “It Ain’t Much to Look At – Reconnaissance and Security Operations in the Future ABCT Cavalry Troop” by Captain John Albert.
“This article attempts to enhance discussion about the ways in which Army leaders can think about incorporating advanced technologies on a future battlefield,” the Army Press said in a preamble for the story. “While not supposing to define the future of maneuver, this story is intended to drive reflection and discussion of priorities and goals.”
The importance of narrative, especially science fiction, is something senior military leaders increasingly emphasize. Martin Dempsey, the now retired Army general and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote in a foreword for the Atlantic Council’s first military sci-fi short-story collection “War Stories from the Future” that “the true gift of the genre lies in its ability to be provocative and its power to develop the professional imagination.”
The Army Press seeks to publish more fiction and is accepting submissions from all writers at its website.