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DoD Plans Quality of Life Technology Conference

By Linda D. Kozaryn
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 5, 1999 – E-mail, the Internet, video-teleconferencing -- defense officials plan to explore how today's information technology can improve the quality of life of military personnel and their families.

DoD's third annual DoD Quality of Life Research Symposium, titled "Delivering Services to People in the Digital Age," is scheduled Dec. 7-10 in New Orleans. The conference gives the services' quality of life advocates a chance to discuss ways to improve military lifestyles, according to Paul Jerome of DoD's Quality of Life Office here.

The goal is to ensure military quality of life keeps pace with American society at large, he said. Initiatives under way throughout the military use global communications to better serve the military community, Jerome noted. DoD, for example, has a new Internet site at www.militaryacclimate.com that features relocation information. DoD officials also have produced a CD-ROM on personal financial management that will be available soon at installation family centers worldwide.

Innovations are also being developed in the field. The Naval Reserve is designing an ombudsman bulletin board to disseminate information and answer questions. The Air Force is about to complete a Web site at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., that gives inbound permanent-change-of-station families a virtual tour of housing with a 360-degree-view of every room in typical quarters.

During the two-day symposium, Jerome said, officials will consider using the Internet to provide a variety of resources, including educational materials, distance learning, and medical and housing referrals. They'll also explore the military exchange systems' latest initiatives to expand service delivery via the Internet.

One of this year's objectives is to develop a community plan to connect service members and military families to community quality of life services, Jerome said. Officials also intend to promote management reforms that emphasize technology to enhance customer satisfaction. Conference attendees will have more than 40 topics from which to choose.

Two keynote speakers will provide their vision of technology's future role in community development and in improving personal well being. Technology company representatives will display cutting-edge initiatives to promote quality of life.

The symposium is open to military base commanders and DoD quality of life advocates from personnel, medical, morale and welfare, housing, education, resale and family support areas from base to service level. Key corporate managers, university researchers and other federal and state personnel will be invited to attend to display their technology achievements.

For more information or to register for the symposium, go to http://www.calib.com/dodconference.

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