An Army Soldier and an Iraqi boy practice mobile phone etiquette in Baghdad, June 2008.
The Earth’s population is currently estimated at 7.2 billion people. Roughly six billion of them, or 85 percent, carry mobile phones. There is perhaps no invention in human history other than the wheel that is more universal. The cellphone packs an extraordinary amount of technology onto a few inches of silicon, yet is so commonplace as to be considered disposable. For all its familiarity, few people are aware that one of the first mobile phone networks sprung from the labs of United States Army R&D.