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Information Warriors
Reprinted from Task Force Eagle's Talon On-Line

Story and Photos by Joseph C. DeCaro
65th PCH, Eagle Base

 Maj Patrick Martin

WEBMASTER - DAMO officer, Maj. Patrick F. Martin, HHC 49th AD., is one of 49th AD’s webmaster gurus in BiH.

Web Guru - WO1 Rodney Hammack

WEB GURU - WO1 Rodney E. Hammack, HHC 49th AD, checks out the Task Force Eagle home page, one of his esteemed creations, in addition to Eagle Vision and ScribeVision.

Task Force Eagle Web
Task Force Eagle Web


Eagle Vision Intranet Site
Eagle Vision Intranet



We’re becoming information warriors – a new breed of soldiers. So said Maj. Patrick F. Martin, Jr., Division Automation Officer (DAMO) for the 49th Armored Division (49th AD) now deployed to Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), concerning the increased importance of web sites.

Both Martin and WO1 Rodney E. Hammack, the webmaster for the 49th AD, are the "dynamic duo" who collectively envisioned and designed the Task Force Eagle (TFE) Web site.

The combined military and civilian expertise of both soldiers represents the advantage the Guard can bring to any tactical situation.

Having degrees in finance and banking, Martin is a technical account manager for Microsoft. He learned computer networking skills at the Army National Guard Readiness Center in Arlington, Va., and applied that knowledge installing networks for the Division Information Office (DOIM) in New York State.

Martin, tasked with the division Web site for the 49th’s deployment to BiH – wanted the TFE page to handle public information, pictures and news stories of the division in country, and to serve as a "front end" or door for the Web sites of the 49th’s subordinate commands.

Martin also helped design Eagle Vision; an intranet (or internal net) accessible only to Multinational Division North (MND-N) personnel.

"(It’s) one-stop shopping," said Martin of the ease of accessing the intranet’s latest info — on everything from the weather in Tuzla to the Division phone book — available to any end user in MND-N.

Eagle Vision even contains all the 49th’s policy letters, which are normally posted on boring bulletin boards or filed and forgotten in office cabinets.

"We’re going paperless," said Martin, and "redefining the way we (the 49th) do business."

On the technical side, Hammack, a systems designer for EDS in Plano, Texas, designed the TFE front door (home page) as a template for the other doors or links leading to the Web sites of the 49th’s subordinate commands.

In other words, the TFE home page acts as a cover consistent with the individual pages inside, much like a book or newspaper.

This isn’t surprising since Hammack’s civilian experience includes the editorship of his college newspaper.

Hammack designed the TFE home page to target family members and news organizations with a format similar to a newspaper’s news, sports and entertainment sections.

Hammack said he designed TFE to have a high graphics look with low maintenance. As a result, TFE’s subordinate Web pages are all on the same sheet of music since they all share the same color scheme and consistency indicative of a well-made publication.

Hammack said this consistency provides a sense of familiarity as changes are distracting and can make the user feel uncomfortable returning to the site.

The key to a Web site isn’t looks but useful information that is easy to access, explained Hammack.

He said DAMO replaced equipment and increased maintenance on their server so it would stay "up" more consistently as deployed members’ families tend to panic when the TFE lifeline connection is lost.

Perhaps the revolving servicemember photos and daily news updates on TFE give it a sort of animus, as if it were a living representation of absent loved ones who have deployed here. But as long as the TFE Web site is up and running, the distance from here to Texas will be only as long as the cord on your mouse.

World's Largest Web Page

Hammack has earned a name for himself, at least according to Chris Vaughn of the Fort Worth based "Star-Telegram."

According to Vaughn’s article, Hammack created a stylish, easy-to-navigate Web page – Task Force Eagle (TFE) – as well as an intranet page for sensitive but unclassified information.

Hammack also created what he calls "ScribeVision", an intranet he designed during Mission Readiness Exercise (MRE) at Fort Polk, La., that allows users to put information onto a Web page without having to know Web page programming.

"Hammack’s work, done in a matter of days, drew the attention of high-level generals in Europe and the Pentagon, who summoned him to Stuttgart, Germany, for lessons on how he did it," reported Vaughn.

At the Eagle Base Battle Update Brief (BUB), ScribeVision continuously displays information on a giant computer monitor while presenting updated data in less than one minute after it is entered.

"ScribeVision is the world’s largest Web page," said Hammack.

The platform, the Web server and operating system for ScribeVision, was designed by Maj. Patrick F. Martin, Jr., Division Automation Officer (DAMO), HHC 49tth AD.

ScribeVision is an example of how soldiers in the 49th can come up with innovative means to support our mission and was a combined effort by the entire DAMO section with the 249th Signal Battalion providing the pipeline (backbone of the system), said Martin.




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