For Army recruiters, paper goes the way of the dinosaur

For Army recruiters, paper goes the way of the dinosaur

The Army Recruiting Command is throwing out paper procedures and automating how it manages information about recruits.

In November, the command, based in Fort Knox, Ky., began fielding the second implementation of the Army Recruiting Information Support System, a document management system for quicker and more accurate record-keeping. Its database holds information such as an enlistee's date of birth, Social Security number, medical records, driver's license and work history.

The Army hired Electronic Data Systems Corp. to build ARISS from several commercial applications.

The command uses e-RecordsManager software from Impact Systems Inc. of Montchanin, Del. The system is built on the 4i eBusiness Platform from Documentum Consulting of Pleasanton, Calif. The system is installed on recruiters' notebook PCs and tracks information ranging from recruits' first interview to enlistment.

Data from the recruiter's notebook PC is uploaded into ARISS by dialing into a server in St. Louis.

The recruiters take the PCs with them to meet potential recruits at places such as state fairs and high school job fairs, said Mike Edwards, senior system architect for EDS.

The system uses ToolBook desktop authoring software from Click2learn Inc. of Bellevue, Wash., which has a compressed video application. Edwards said recruiters can, for instance, show recruits a video on the G.I. bill.

'It's been pretty successful,' Edwards said. 'They're competing with colleges and private industry. It's a way to sell the Army.'

In the past, recruiting and enlistment processes required hundreds of paper forms per recruit'forms that were put into a packet and hand-delivered to one of 64 Military Entrance Processing Stations. E-RecordsManager handles transmission, storage and management of this information, said Gary Bishop, chief of the Web applications and technology branch of the recruiting command's application programming division.

'This will streamline the recruiting process and make our guidance counselors much more efficient,' Bishop said.

He said the Army uses the system to consolidate its offline and online record-keeping and to help recruiters manage records.

When a recruiter enters data about a new recruit, he will use FormFlow software from Accelio Corp. in Ottawa, Edwards said. ARISS also uses ApproveIt electronic-signature capturing software from Silanis Technology Inc. in McLean, Va., for security.

E-RecordsManager also keeps tabs on the storage life and location of paper records as well as electronic records, Edwards said.

The recruiting command provides command, control and staff support to the Army's recruiting force, which is made up of more than 7,200 active and reserve recruiters at 1,600 recruiting stations across the United States and overseas.

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