The U.S. Army is experimenting with equipping soldiers with off-the-shelf smartphones. And you thought your son or daughter's iPhone worked best as a social or recreational device.

Not so. The Army is concluding a 6-week program to test the feasibility, including durability, of using touchscreen phones and tablets in combat, USAToday.com reported.

The Army is careful to point out that the phones would not replace currently-issued tactical radios, but the smartphones and screens would be deployed more extensively, and ideally would be able to network with older equipment, CNN.com reported.

Phones currently being tested include the iPhone, Androids, and computer tablet devices. And so far, in limited testing, the phones are proving to be rugged enough: of the 500 smartphones issued for testing, only one broke, USAToday.com reported.

The Army expects to identify just two mobile operating systems for official use -- minimizing systems to simplify software development requirements.

Defense Analysis: Who knows? Maybe one day every member of the U.S. Armed Forces deployed in the field will be equipped with an iPhone or a comparable mobile device. If it leads to more-effective deployments, and most importantly, fewer deaths and casualties, the devices will be worth their weight in gold.