The hot loop is a wire that runs between military vehicles. During periods of radio silence, it allows Soldiers to share information without the enemy detecting the communication.
My last Brigade Commander, Col. Ross Coffman built an email version of this for all of his Company Commanders. His intent was to provide us the forum where we could freely communicate, share problems, and solve issues together. This provided to be an extremely valuable tool as not only could we find simpler ways of doing things, we could quickly solve problems when they came up, and learn from others failures to prevent our own units from making them.
So I ask, why limit this at just Commanders? It does make it simple because we are (sadly) constantly at our computers. But wouldn't platoon leaders, platoon sergeants, squad leaders benefit from having a hot loop in their own Battalion? What about our low density groups? What if every Training Room NCO, Supply NCO, Commo NCO in the Brigade was on their own functional area hot loop? Wouldn't best practices be discovered faster? Wouldn't systems across a brigade start running smoother?
If your unit doesn't have these, create them. Don't wait for someone higher up to organize it. You can impact your organization incredibly by creating forums where people can collaborate and share knowledge.
* Update* This article was shared on Reddit, and several people mentioned the "GroupMe" app. This app seems to meet the intent of the email hot loop with the exception that it moves beyond email and can be installed on cellphones, computers, and tablets. Might be a great solution to the problem I talked about in this article. I'm curious if anyone has ever used it in their formations.
If you have thoughts on the article you just read, please leave some comments for the group. If you’d like to continue following this blog, sign up for our newsletter or add our RSS Feed to your Feedly account to know when new content is posted