Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Defense Travel System

The DTS is, quite possibly, the stupidest military website I've ever run across.
Featuring the best practices in industry and plug-and-play components, Defense Travel System streamlines the entire process involved in global Department of Defense (DoD) travel.
If that is the case then American industry is screwed. Screwed and screwed hard. And it deserves its screweditude. I'm curious what industry they used as the benchmark. The only industry where this website should be considered "best practices" is the "pain management" industry. Because after trying to adjust my credit card information I'd prefer intense physical pain to logging into DTS again.

Trying to use DTS makes me want to run for a national elected office so I can get put onto a committee where I can launch an investigation into the motivation for implementing DTS. Somehow I doubt that my "Investigate DTS" campaign platform will resonate with a lot of voters though. Maybe by the time I'm elected to the House of Representives or the Senate enough people will dislike DTS as well. Anyone know when the deadline for form an election committee is? I might want to start planning.

I'm sure I'm in the insignifigant minority of people who do not like DTS, but I'm there. The always brilliant Elusive Concept nailed my feelings on this topic last week.

When I originally entered the service travel pay was a slow process. You had to mail vouchers and receipts to DFAS and it would take a couple weeks at best before you'd get a check mailed back to you. The first change for the better was to allow for direct deposit of travel pay, and eventually direct deposit was mandatory. Shortly after I was promoted to Staff Sergeant DFAS started to accept faxed vouchers and receipts. This was wonderful. At this point travel payments were received in about 10 business days and submission involved completing two sheets of paper then pressing the "DFAS" button on the fax machine.

Then someone, somewhere had the bright idea to go "If it ain't broke, break it." And they did. So now I find myself in a bizarro world where I'm required to have a credit card I no longer have, and never used when I did have it. And because I don't have that credit card I cannot submit travel documents, or make the adjustments necessary to allow submission of travel documents. I can only hope that the system used to collect my pay from when my laptop becomes a wall fixture is similar to DTS.


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