Military personnel need a valid .mil email address to activate the service. It is a nice touch from Google easing the strain of serving oversees, even if only slightly, by making it that much simpler to stay in touch with their loved ones back home.
"We understand that it’s not always easy or affordable for our troops serving overseas to call friends and family at home, so starting today we’re making it completely free for all uniformed military personnel with valid United States Military (.mil) email addresses to call the United States, right from Gmail.
There are two easy steps to enable free calling from Gmail (detailed instructions)
Similar to free calling within the U.S., free calling to the U.S. for service members will be available for at least the rest of 2011.
We recognize and appreciate the sacrifices U.S. troops make when they serve abroad, and we’re proud to help make it a little bit easier for them to stay connected and hear a familiar voice. "
While on the subject of Google, a quick and easy way to use Gmail/Docs/'G-calendar' offline.
"The great thing about web apps is that you can access all of your information on the go, and we’ve introduced ways to use Google Apps on a variety of devices like mobile phones and tablets. But it’s inevitable that you’ll occasionally find yourself in situations when you don’t have an Internet connection, like planes, trains and carpools. When we announced Chromebooks at Google I/O 2011, we talked about bringing offline access to our web apps, and now we’re taking our first steps in that direction. Gmail offline will be available today, and offline for Google Calendar and Google Docs will be rolling out over the next week, starting today.
Gmail Offline is a Chrome Web Store app that’s intended for situations when you need to read, respond to, organize and archive email without an internet connection. This HTML5-powered app is based on the Gmail web app for tablets, which was built to function with or without web access. After you install the Gmail Offline app from the Chrome Web Store, you can continue using Gmail when you lose your connection by clicking the Gmail Offline icon on Chrome’s “new tab” page."