Army expands recruitment document management system

The Army is expanding a document management system used for recruitment so that it will provide information to other Army systems and even to potential recruits.

'This system is now positioned so that as other internal Army systems begin to evolve to be more paperless, we are ready to send them information,' said Garty Bishop, the Army Accessions Command's chief of Web applications and technologies.

Later this year, the Guidance Counselor Redesign/Electronic Records Management module of the Army Recruiting Information Support System will start offering information for the Army's public-facing recruitment Web page,

On a page called iRecruiter, potential enlisted recruits will be able to see what assignments are open. The page will draw information from the Army Human Resources Command's job availability database. Potential recruits would submit prequalifying information to see what assignments they might get, should they join.

'The way it works today, you can't select a job until you get to the guidance counselor,' Bishop said.

Eventually, potential recruits may be able to actually reserve a job online as well.

The iRecruiter portal will use the Sun Java System Portal Server from Sun Microsystems Inc. of Palo Alto, Calif., as well as Sun's Identity Server and Directory Server, all running under Solaris 9.

Bishop said the command chose Sun's Java 2 Platform Enterprise Edition-based platform because it provided a road to developing Web services in the future.

'Our technology objective was to base things on open standards as much as possible. Web services will be very important with us in the future as we seek to interoperate with other military agencies,' Bishop said.

As a result, the system upgrade will also enable the command to better share data among offices and other military departments, Bishop said. The planned Defense Integrated Military Human Resources System could interface with it, he said, as could the Personnel Enlistment Records Management system and Army Knowledge Online.

'We're looking to leverage this technology for customer, partner and employee relationship management,' Bishop said.

The Accessions Command, headquartered at Fort Knox, Ky., was formed in 2002 to consolidate eight Army training and recruitment commands. Its chief duty is taking care of paperwork for the 100,000 new Army recruits and 150,000 other candidates considered each year.

'From the point a recruit begins to talk to a recruiter, we make copies of the driver's license and birth certificate,' Bishop said. 'That used to turn into a paper packet of 50 to 150 documents that would follow the recruit through training.'

The Army chose EDS Corp. of Plano, Texas, to move this process into the electronic realm. For the electronic document portion, the integrator used the Enterprise Content Management platform from Documentum Inc. of Pleasanton, Calif., plus BEA WebLogic Server from BEA Systems Inc. of San Jose, Calif., and a database from Oracle Corp. of Redwood Shores, Calif.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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