Circa 1988 the only way to communicate with each other between the units was AUTOVON.  A military phone network.  We would call each other at the units, shoot the shit and then pass those details to our unit members nearby.  If you were not there at the time, then you didn't find out what was going on at Fort X unless you called there too.  From the very early 80's I was the SYSOP for a dial up bulletin board system.  "The Demilitarized Zone" while I was sitting at my first duty station Ft Carson Colorado.  (Look up Fidonet if you are interested in the system) It had Message boards, email capability and games.  Unfortunately it took a more advanced computer skill set to utilize the system.  While I was in Korea in 1991 Al Gore authorized an Act that passed in December of the same year.  While everyone gives him shit about "inventing it", he actually paid for it...ok, well he spent your tax dollars to pay for it, but if he had not you would not be on facebook looking at Cat Videos.  Thank Mr Gore the next time you see him.  Mr Gores bill enabled the infrastructure expansion to allow for more people that just us Geeks to be on it.  I paid the rather large bill in 1991 for ROMAD.COM (over 1000 bucks at the time) and started working to get the community moving in one direction.  Prior to ROMAD.COM, The STANEVAL shops at the Forts would build a "Crew Guide"/"Grunt Guide" that contained all the information and checklists for being a ROMAD.  It was your bible to refer to while in the field.  Each unit built their own, and 95% of it was the same information that other units were building.  Lots and lots of repeat work.  So one of the first things was to put up a file storage system that would allow the units to put up their crew guides and share information.  It also had message boards so the guys to stay in contact with each other.  This was before AOL so it was one of the only games in town.  During the height of ROMAD.COM it was getting close to 10 million hits in a 24 hour period.  Today, Facebook has taken most of the traffic, but Facebook does not have a persistent storage capability.  There is simply too much going on to allow for that level of retrieval.  ROMAD.COM has some information from the original inception in 1991.

Enjoy the site and if you have any questions contact me at charlie@romad.com. Please put ROMAD.COM in the subject as I receive a considerable amount of email per day and my filters are medieval with regards to Spam filtering.

Charlie Heidal, MSgt (RET)