Marines prefer own HR system

The Marine Corps will not migrate to the Defense Department's Integrated Military Human Resources System until DOD can prove DIMHRS is superior to the Corps' own personnel and pay system.

Commandant Gen. Michael W. Hagee recently signed a memorandum of agreement with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, saying DIMHRS will have to serve HR needs better than the Marine Corps Total Force System.

The agreement came exactly a year after the Corps' then-CIO, Brig. Gen. John Thomas, told a House Armed Services Committee subcommittee that careful evaluation of DIMHRS versus MCTFS found DIMHRS' business process re-engineering did not, in fact, improve HR processes.

'MCTFS is the only fully integrated personnel and pay system supporting active and reserve forces within DOD,' Thomas told legislators. 'It is aligned to our business practices [and] devoid of administrative redundancies, requiring minimal human interaction to sustain personnel and pay readiness. DIMHRS must meet Marine Corps capability needs before it can be adopted for use.'

Lt. Gen. H.P. Osman, deputy commandant for manpower and reserve affairs, told an audience at the recent Naval IT Day that MCTFS offers not only a 'real-time snapshot' of employee pay and personnel history, but also manpower tracking by deployments.

'Near-perfect system'

'The Government Accountability Office came out and said it was a near-perfect IT system for the management of people,' Osman said. 'We are the envy of the other services. A lot of them want to come out to Kansas City [Mo.] to see how it works.'

Osman said the other services are making the transition to DIMHRS, however. The Army is expected to adopt DIMHRS next year, followed by the Navy, the Air Force and, last, the Marines.

The Army has three systems to manage personnel and pay. Its Electronic Military Personnel Office, dubbed eMILPO, manages the active-duty force. Other systems handle reservists and the Army National Guard.

Army officials say they had wanted to extend eMILPO to the reserves and Guard, but the plan was toppled because the service will soon transition to DIMHRS.

Touted as one of the world's largest HR systems, DIMHRS will replace 88 legacy systems across the services with a single database for active and reserve units. Analysts have estimated that DOD will spend between $500 million and $1.5 billion on DIMHRS development over eight years.

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