By USAREC Public Affairs
Apr. 11, 2016
Chicago Battalion recruiters are testing a web-based app to log trips taken in government owned vehicles - a pilot program that began in January.
Using their government smartphone, recruiters scan a QR code on the card attached to the key ring of the assigned GOV, which opens a web app. After signing into their goarmy account, a form with the GOV's plate number, vehicle RSID, and the recruiter's user id appears on the screen.
Recruiters must answer all questions concerning their use of the GOV: beginning and ending mileage, the cost of any fuel and the amount, and any vehicle maintenance before they can submit the information, log out of the app, and return the vehicle.
"The app is much more accurate than paper logs," said Master Sgt. Jeffery Crane, Initiatives NCO, Commanding General's Initiative Group, who helped develop the app.
"With paper, people forget to fill it out and keep forgetting," Crane said. Then a couple of days later they'll come back and start filling in the blanks and kind of make the mileage right.
"Because this is automated, it keeps recruiters from getting in trouble for making things up. It puts them in a position where they can't make a poor judgment call. One of the ways it does that, is it goes out and checks the last ending mileage before starting a new trip, and if the odometer reading doesn't match with the last mileage report, it won't let you submit. It lets you know someone has driven the car without filling out the mileage, and then you have to link up with the driver before you."
The main reason for developing the web app was to make things easier for the recruiting force, said Wanda Jenkins, logistics division chief, USAREC G4.
It does that by streamlining the GOV accountability process for recruiters by providing an easy to use form that virtually eliminates the time consuming end of month data consolidation process.
The device also makes it much easier for G4 to manage all the information required for the command's 7,000 GOVs.
"Everything has to sync, because when we pay the bill we want to make sure it matches what we're really doing, because we pay not only to lease the cars but also for mileage," Jenkins said. "Our annual budget is over $30 million, so we want to be as efficient as we can."
"With this app we can look up any vehicle at any time and get up to date data. All the data is in one place on this web app. We can tell who drove it on what day, what time, what location they logged in, it's all right here."
Sgt. 1st Class Thor Jaramillo said initially, he was skeptical, but after using the web app for a couple of months, it's proven to be efficient.
"At the end of the month, I know I'm not the only one not having to scramble to make sure the GOV log is accurate. It is awesome," Jaramillo said. "Overall, we have not had any issues. The app runs well, the optic scanner on the phone works, and we have not had any issues with connectivity. So overall the pros outweigh anything that could be perceived as a con."
First Sgt. Marc Baker, Glenview Company, finds the app to be, "User friendly, quick, efficient and accurate," he said. "By taking less than 20 seconds to log in, update, and close, we can truly ensure there is not misuse of the vehicles and keep our force out of harm's way."
Crane said initially there was some concern the app could act as a GPS, continuously logging a recruiter's every move, but said the web app does not have that capability and that it can actually protect recruiters from false accusations.
"If someone does complain about seeing a GOV some place, we can use the data from the web app to prove the recruiter was on the job, so in a way it also helps recruiters, because now you have this trail of where they were and can prove they were there for a reason," he said.
There is no set date on when the web app will be implemented command wide.