Marines want proof before switching to Defense HR system

The Marine Corps will not migrate to the Defense Integrated Military Human Resource System until DOD can prove that DIMHRS is better than the personnel and pay system the Corps already uses, according to a deputy commandant.

The service feels so strongly about its Marine Corps Total Force System that its commandant, Gen. Michael W. Hagee, recently signed a memorandum of agreement with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, stating that DIMHRS must prove it's a better fit for the Marines.

This comes exactly a year after the Corps' then-CIO, Brig. Gen. John Thomas, told a House Armed Services subcommittee that Marines were carefully evaluating capabilities in DIMHRS against MCTFS. Thomas said DIMHRS' business process re-engineering did not improve business processes.

'MCTFS is the only fully integrated personnel and pay system supporting active and reserve forces within DOD. It is aligned to our business practices, devoid of administrative redundancies, requiring minimal human interaction to sustain personnel and pay readiness,' Thomas told legislators. '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 gathered at Naval IT Day yesterday that MCTFS offers users not only a 'real-time personnel snapshot' of an employee's pay and personnel history, but also offers manpower tracking by deployments.

'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 to see how it works.'

Osman said some of the other services are looking forward to transitioning to DIMHRS. The Army is expected to transition to DIMHRS next year, followed by the Navy, Air Force and, lastly, the Marines.

'The Army wants it bad because they're having some serious problems with their personnel system,' Osman said. 'We're not.'

The Army uses the Electronic Military Personnel Office, dubbed eMILPO, which had data migrations problems and scheduling delays before it reached full deployment in 2003.

Touted as one of the world's largest HR systems, DIMHRS will replace 88 legacy personnel and pay systems across the services with a single database for the military's active and reserve units.

Analysts have previously estimated that DOD will spend between $500 million and $1 billion on DIMHRS development.

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