Saturday, May 24, 2014

Week 12 of Training: S.M.A.R.T.

Senioritis. I think that's the only way to describe how my half of the 132nd Specialist Class felt taking our class on SMART this week. Our instructor was quite funny (and knowledgeable, but lets be honest, at this point we appreciate the funny way more), and we were joking the whole way through. The material was pretty dry, so a good laugh here and there helped keep everyone awake and focused. 

As you can see from the picture, SMART stands for "State Messaging (and) Archive Retrieval Toolset." All in all, it's like Microsoft Outlook on steroids. The State Department has been around for awhile, and the idea of sending 'cables' between posts and back to Washington is certainly not a new one. A few years ago, it changed from a "received, printed, and hand delivered" system into an "integrated into your desktop" system. Fortunately for us IMSers, that means we no longer have to handle all cable traffic, and we can instead just set up filters to direct messages appropriately. Of course, if you're anything like me, you're probably asking why we need cables at all, hasn't e-mail pretty much filled that niche? Well, I'm glad you asked. Cables are more formal, searchable in a permanent archive, and represent 'official' communications. All in all, it's just one more facet of our job overseas.

Next week, Memorial Day and week one of Simulated Operations (SIMOPS).

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