Photo by Capt. Kylee Ashton, U.S. Air Force
Military people love their gear. That’s not to imply that military folks are “geardos,” okay, some are (and we all know who they are), but most in the ranks are people who can appreciate a good piece of gear and find use in something simple.
Most service members are prepared for life’s challenges because they have the right gear. For example, something as simple as a multi-tool can be extraordinarily handy in most situations. There’s a reason why many military men and women own one and carry them on and off duty.
Military apps are no different and military members can load up their phones with all sorts of apps that make their lives, on and off duty, much easier. The difference between being a geardo and downloading one military app too many is that you can be called a geek, instead of a geardo. But being called a geek, isn’t necessarily a bad thing these days.
The veterans here at USAMM put their heads together and came up with USAMM’s must have free military app list. Some of these apps are only available for either Android or iPhone platforms, or they are exclusively available only in Google Play Store or the Apple App Store. In addition, while they are all free, some require in app purchases. Here is USAMM’s military app list presented in no particular order or rank.
Photo by Cpl. Carl King, U.S. Marine Corps
Military App #1. Military Flashlight
This is a widely popular military app with more than 500,000 downloads and great reviews. The app offers a flashlight with different flashing frequencies of strobe lights.
The app includes Morse Code SOS signal and standard compass dial with a calibration screen for improved accuracy. No more carrying around that chunky flashlight. Just download this app.
Military App #2. Theodolite
Theodolite is an awesome app that allows a user to take a photo of an object, like a freeway overpass or a building, and the app will record the object’s position, altitude, bearing, range, and inclination. The app has a compass, GPS, map, camera, rangefinder, and inclinometer.
The app’s tools have a wide range of military mission applicability.
Military App #3. The USN Morse Code Flashing Light
This app was a USAMM fan favorite and given it is an official U.S. Navy app, it is surprisingly pretty cool. It was designed to quickly teach Morse Code to sailors who are in the Quartermaster A-School in the Visual Signaling Curriculum. It is also intended for Quartermaster training for Watch Standing Personnel Qualification Standards, as well as fleet sailors preparing for surface force assessments.
The app provides training and practice for any sailor, afloat or ashore, who wants to hone and maintain this crucial skillset.
U.S. Navy photo
Military App #4. CLREC Navy Global Deployer
This is the second official U.S. Navy app on the USAMM military app list. The Center for Language, Regional Expertise, and Culture (CLREC) Navy Global Deployer app is a learning tool to help sailors with cultural awareness and language familiarization. It offers sailors and Navy families detailed information on language, history, geography, people, ethnic groups, religious institutions, and social norms for 84 countries and territories.
Recently, Argentina, Bangladesh, Brunei, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Ethiopia, India, Japan, Marshall Islands, Morocco, Norway, Soloman Islands, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Timor-Leste, United Kingdom were all added to the military app.
U.S. Navy photo
Military App #5. My Military OneSource
This is another very useful official military app for all branches and components. This app offers service members, military families, and survivors a fast, 24/7 gateway to personalized military benefits, access to experts, guides to military life and much more.
Military personnel can get help and information concerning health and wellness, recreation and travel, moving and housing, financial and legal, Space-A travel, education and employment, counseling, and other topics.
U.S. Defense Department Photo
Military App #6. ATAK
Originally developed by the U.S. Department of Defense for the special operations community, this military app now supports a range of mission sets. The Android Tactical Assault Kit is a geo-spatial infrastructure app that offers tracking features (think Blue Force Tracking) to identify fellow team members to avoid friendly fire incidents and enemies.
This military app allows users to send encrypted text, photos and videos and offers users data on terrain, weather, and other geographical elements.
Military App #7. Ballistic Advanced
This app is a military shooter’s best digital friend. Snipers, marksmen, and long-ranger shooters, take note. This military app is probably the most accurate ballistic app out there. It includes a rangefinder with ballistics and on-screen controls, a head’s up display for mounted firing with one touch controls, and a ballistic calculator with more than 5,400 loads and projectiles.
This military app features pretty neat 3D trajectory imaging for visualizing a bullet path. Shooters can also instantly adjust their calculations for zero or current atmosphere and the weather conditions are updated based on the shooter’s current location, or they can enter their own atmospheric values.
For hunters, this military app has a target log which helps keep a journal of all hunts and shoots, adjustments, points of impact, and scores.
Military App #8. Army’s Digital Garrison
This military app is another great example of an official military app that actually works. Designed for Army users, the app allows soldiers and their families to digitally explore their Army posts and discover restaurants, events, shops, clinics, activity centers, and directorates.
Personnel can navigate to on-post facilities, stay updated on local weather, and be informed about gate closures or other important installation information in real time. Users can also receive promotions and deals and shop online.
U.S. Army Photo
Military App #9. Avenza Maps Pro
Avenza Maps Pro offers tools and maps to download for offline use. This military app uses the user’s device GPS to locate and navigate without a network or internet connection.
A user must ensure that what they need is downloaded before they enter a remote area since this app is designed for offline mapping and navigation.
Military App #10. Isurvive
This is a neat app and the USAMM team hopes nobody ever has to use it, unless it is just for training purposes. This military app sends a message to the user’s preferred contacts with one touch. It also sends a user’s position and pertinent information to the rescue contact.
As long as the map is open and active the user’s phone will continue to send the user’s location to the rescue contact. The app can also flash morse code emergency signals.