(Video updated for more relevance)
I have toyed with the idea of writing about the milsurps of our generation several times, but the inspiration is either lacking or derailed by p̶r̶o̶c̶r̶a̶s̶t̶i̶n̶a̶t̶i̶o̶n̶ the complexity of an idea. What will make a vast improvement for the generations of the future; however, will be the sheer amount of documentation available for the purposes of research. One of these key tools will be the GoPro.
Presently, what we have to go off – in terms of looking for material to illustrate our stories – is sporadic black and white films which seem to slowly resurface from the bowels of bureaucracies like the National Archives or the National Library of Russia (for all of the Mosin fans reading this). Coupled with the abyss of official wartime documentation of small arms in countries like the former Soviet Union, finding any reliable information on the run-of-the-mill milsurp like the venerable 91/30 becomes more of a creative adventure as opposed to a factual process.
With the advent of digital archives and video documentation provided by commercial drones, durable GoPro’s and the like, not only are we witnessing the capture of history that the future milsurps are currently a part of, but we are also spectators to a slow and gradual shift in the execution of warfare. Previously, large after-action reviews (AAR’s), battle damage assessments (BDA’s), and reconnaissance media would require time for reception, development, interpretation, and dissemination to a very limited audience. However, as long as a reliable internet connection is available, this valuable tactical data can be shared, viewed, and incorporated in a manner never before thought possible. As a result, the evolution in review and planning for military operations in the near future will be almost imperceptible, yet extremely profound.
What will be the milsurp of the next generation? Chances are, it will include beat-up GoPros and balky Toughbooks.