An Active Patriotic Community
Mil-OSS is a grass-roots organization that connects and empowers an active community of both civilian and military developers using, improving, and releasing Open Source Software (OSS) and hardware across the United States Department of Defense (DoD). Most members of Mil-OSS work with the DoD either directly or as contractors, and see their work in open source DoD projects as a patriotic support for our country’s Warfighters. OSS allows the DoD to improve software security, control development costs and increase innovation—all of which benefit the Warfighter.
The idea for the organization goes back to 2003 when Josh Davis, one of the founders, began a dialogue with James Neushul about open-sourcing a project they were working on. Next Josh met Heather Burke with whom he shared the idea of pulling together a military based open source software conference. Heather introduced him to John Scott, the other founder of Mil-OSS. Over the next several months key individuals joined the conversation including Mike Howard, Gunnar Hellekson, Kit Plummer and Kane McLean.
By 2008, the organization had taken shape and the first annual Working Group (WG1) was being planned for the summer of the following year. Needing a quick online rally-point for the new community, the Mil-OSS Google Group was started along with other social media outlets to support the organization.
About the same time, the Mil-OSS decided to team up with Open Source For America (OSFA). Mil-OSS decided that operating as a working group under OSFA’s umbrella would benefit both communities more than working separately.
With the DoD policy favoring open source practices and software as benefit to national defense, it's no wonder that Mil-OSS community is growing daily. The annual Working Group will be held each year, and local MeetUps and BarCamps are being established in cities across the country so the community can continue to work together throughout the year. It’s a great time to be involved in Open Source projects in the Military, we’re all looking forward to the innovation that will come from it.