New unified system aims to improve access to personnel information
ARLINGTON, Va. — Gone will be the days of standing in long lines at the Personnel Office to correct a typo in a personnel record.
At least, that’s one goal of the new Defense Integrated Military Human Resources System, or DIMHRS, a computer software program that defense contractor Northrop Grumman Information Technology Inc. will develop and manage over a 10-year contract at a cost of $281 million, officials said during a Monday press briefing.
Once it gets rolling, the program will contain, in one system, accurate and up-to-date information on the military’s 3.1 million active and reserve servicemembers: deployments, earned medals and citations, ranks, occupational specialties, promotions, training and retirement dates, to name a few, said Navy Capt. Valerie Carpenter, the joint program manager.
In all, it will rid the military of 79 systems that can’t talk to one another, and all too often contain inaccurate information that forces way too many servicemembers to stand in line at personnel offices for hours at a time trying to rectify simple problems, said Norma St. Claire, director of the Joint Requirements and Integration Office.
The Army is scheduled to be the first “client” to gain access the system, with a target launch date of November 2005. The Air Force, Navy and Marines are set to go online in November 2007.
The system also will give commanders and other authorized users access to servicemembers’ qualifications, which could be vital to mission development, St. Claire said.
“Instead of querying 12 different systems,” combatant commanders will be able to access from their desktop the most up-to-date information about skill sets or proficiencies, such as who has training on Patriot or Tomahawk missile systems, St. Claire offered as an example.
The system isn’t hardware-based. Instead, it will be built from a commercial, off-the-shelf software program that is a “Web-based enabled solution,” which means those in the field will be able to access it from laptops or electronic handheld information devices through an Internet link, Carpenter said.
Security experts will analyze the progress of the program development and put the software system through a series of checks to safeguard servicemembers’ personal information, Carpenter said.
Servicemembers will need the information found on their Common Access Cards to gain their personal information, and will be able to make changes such as a mailing address or next-of-kin contact information directly online.
If problems such as their rank or promotion dates, for example, are found, they can request via e-mail to have that information reviewed and corrected.