New Pay, Personnel System on Horizon for Troops
By Sgt. Sara Wood, USA
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Dec. 11, 2006 A new system coming in 2008 to the Army and Air Force will integrate pay and personnel and make life easier for servicemembers everywhere, the general in charge of the system’s deployment said.
The Defense Integrated Military Human Resources System, or DIMHRS, integrates the two services’ pay and personnel systems into one Web-based system, Army Maj. Gen. Carlos “Butch” Pair, the defense business systems acquisition executive in the Business Transformation Agency, said in an interview.
“DIMHRS is an enterprise solution, really a revolution in how the military is approaching pay and personnel,” Pair said. “It’s really more than an acronym; it’s a solution for the future.”
The unique advantage of DIMHRS is that it will be Web-based, accessible from anywhere with a Common Access Card, and will be a one-stop shop for servicemembers with pay and personnel issues, Pair said. Servicemembers will be able to view their entire record, and even make certain changes themselves. “We know that many of our young soldiers today and airmen certainly understand how to self-service on the Web,” he said.
Army and Air Force commands also will have access to the system to resolve any issues the troops can’t handle themselves, Pair said. This will be especially helpful in today’s joint environment, where troops from different services fight alongside each other and often aren’t near personnel or finance support, he said.
“It’s conceivable today that if you’re an airman in an Army task force, you might have to get in a Humvee and travel 30 or 40 kilometers to find a personnel service unit to support you,” he said. “Under DIMHRS, that won’t happen.”
The Army will launch DIMHRS in March 2008, followed by the Air Force later that summer, Pair said. The Navy and Marine Corps have not yet decided whether to use DIMHRS, but whatever system they select will have to be compatible with DIMHRS, creating a seamless partnership across the military, he said.
When DIMHRS is launched, it will include a requirement that servicemembers can go to any military installation and get their pay or personnel issues resolved, Pair said. “It’s about providing and serving our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines with the very best possible service that they can get,” he said.
The Army and Air Force will start teaching DIMHRS at their personnel and finance schools in 2007, Pair said. When the system is launched in 2008, the active, Guard and reserve components of the Army and Air Force will all be included at the same time, he said.
The concept for DIMHRS was first developed about 10 years ago, when pay and personnel problems arose in the first Gulf War, Pair said. The system has been developed over the years to solve problems such as a lag in pay when reservists or Guardsmen are activated or pay inaccuracies for active-duty troops, he said.
This new system is long overdue, because the individual systems the services have are outdated and don’t work well together, Pair said. The Army alone has more than 70 different systems, he said, which haven’t been refreshed in a long time.
“Here we are in the year 2006 and about to be 2007, and it’s just time to realize some savings that new types of software and solutions out there can provide,” he said. “It’s to solve problems; it’s to provide better service and more accuracy to the servicemembers.”