Army lining up online education

The Army will disclose plans on Monday to provide online learning for service

members by 2001, giving troops greater opportunity to earn an associate's

degree, a bachelor's degree, a master's degree or technical certification.

The high-tech effort is designed to help the Army meet recruitment and retention

shortfalls.

Secretary of the Army Louis Caldera is expected to announce the plans at

2 p.m. July 10 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.

The Army hopes the effort will provide individual soldiers with laptop computers,

printers, Internet accounts and help-desk access, according to Paul Boyce,

an Army spokesman in the Pentagon.

The Army will release a request for proposals July 10 and host an industry

day Aug. 2 at the Ronald Reagan Building. The service hopes to award a multimillion-dollar

contract later this year and to have soldiers using the system by Jan. 1,

Boyce said.

Caldera will detail a timeline for the effort and will also outline contracting

plans and needed technology. The program's name will also be revealed during

Monday's announcement.

The pilot program will start at selected installations to be announced later

this year. The program has the potential for Army-wide expansion and even

expansion to soldiers' family members, according to an Army announcement

Wednesday.

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