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With the start of a new fiscal year, a major change has come for two longtime Army publications. Both the Armor and Infantry magazines are transitioning to web-only publications as a result of a TRADOC mandate to phase out commercial printing contracts.
Armors final print edition was its 125th anniversary edition that was recently made available, while the final print edition of Infantry will be available soon.
However, both publications have been planning for the transition for about a year and a half now.
It was not a surprise, said Russell Eno, Infantry editor. We knew that this was likely to occur, with the budgetary restrictions being a reality weve had to deal with for several years. ... What weve done is weve been preparing to draw down for the last year and a half. Weve not been renewing subscriptions, and weve told our readers where were going. Weve made formal announcements in the magazine as to whats going to happen.
Both magazines will shift publication to their respective websites, and will also produce versions that will be compatible with various e-reader technologies, such as Nooks or Kindles.
Lisa Alley, editor-in-chief of Armor, said Armor will be published online through eArmor, an updated version of the magazines website that has been in the planning stages since 2011.
When I came here in March 2011, I had this vision to re-energize the website, she said. I realized that a younger generation doesnt think in terms of print, so we werent reaching a good portion of the audience.
Alley said there are plans to eventually make most of the previous editions of Armor available online at eArmor thanks to a partnership with the Donovan Research Library. Infantry is in the process of archiving its back issues online as well, according to an article in the May-June 2013 print edition of the magazine.
Readers who choose to access the magazines through e-readers or download them in PDF file formats will find the look of the magazines will remain mostly the same. Some of the specific guidance Ive received is to make sure we have something that still has the look and feel of the print edition, so well have the PDFs with covers that have articles laid out in columns and are typeset, Alley said.
Eno said keeping a similar look will help readers to adjust to the web-only version. The format will be very similar to what we have now, he said. We want to do that because readers are already familiar with our present format, and we want to make it easy for them to find things. The main thing is to make our product, which is information, readily available to our consumers.
One of the keys for both magazines will be ensuring that the publications continue to be a useful tool for professional development within the Armor and Infantry ranks. Well still have the same kind of articles, Eno said. We can tell the Fort Benning story and the story of the Maneuver Center of Excellence and we can present the successes and concerns of the Infantry School just as Armor magazine presents those of the Armor school.
For Armor, the transition to web will also allow more frequent publication, as the magazine will shift from a quarterly schedule to a bimonthly one.
Both magazines are collecting email addresses to add to their respective subscription lists.
Armor can be found online at www.benning.army.mil/armor/eARMOR/, while Infantry is available at www.benning.army.mil/magazine/ and requires a common access card to view.