The idea for the app came to Captain Jonathan J. Springer in a dream last July. He wanted to make an application that would assist soldiers in Afghanistan by making it possible to plot the coordinates, and post pictures and descriptions as they face Taliban soldiers.
The 31-year-old, from Fort Wayne, has worked with programmers ever since to make the idea a reality.
Springer, who serves as a battalion fire support officer with the Army, in eastern Afghanistan, had observed for a long time that most soldiers used smart phones, and thought the American Army should take more advantage of this fact. He was so committed to create this app, that he put $26,000 of his own money into the project.
Captain Springer used a variety of armored vehicles, remote observation posts and harsh combat conditions to test the accuracy of his invention, which can also be used to direct artillery fire on enemy positions or call in helicopter support.
The app will be called Tactical Nav, and is announced to be available some time in February through Apple’s App Store.
“Since day one, I always believed that smartphones could be utilized by the U.S. military for combat purposes,” said Captain Springer.
“Basically, the issue was the fact that these smartphones were being untapped by the army and I was motivated and determined to change that, even if it cost me my own money out of pocket to do so,” he added.
A New York Post article does not mention if Springer has made an agreement with the U.S. military, or whether this application will be used by the soldiers on a private initiative.