FORT KNOX, Ky –
The Army’s Accessions Information Environment program is close to awarding a contract to completely replace the antiquated systems currently used by the entire accessions community – to include USAREC, Cadet Command, Training and Doctrine Command and the Army National Guard.
Once the selected vendor begins to configure prototypes, the team of 132 early adopters, who represent a cross section of personnel from across USAREC, will provide feedback on the systems and tools being built as well as the unique geography based factors such as commercial network infrastructure challenges.
“Our recruiters know better than anyone what will work best for them,” said Maj. Gen. Frank Muth, USAREC commanding general. “I am confident the early adopters will help shape the new system into a streamlined product that will empower our team.”
This team will ensure the field has a voice and an influence over the configuration of the new capabilities, according to Master Sgt. Jeffery Crane, who is leading USAREC’s portion of AIE.
“The purpose of this support effort is to create a population of ambassadors in the field who can provide input into the delivery of capability from the vendor while also helping their units understand where we are in the process,” Crane said.
The selected early adopters will be expected to complete the following tasks:
Participate in surveys and other information gathering initiatives
Assist in the design of user interfaces including dashboards and reports
Impact organizational change as a unit ambassador
Perform gap analysis between current and future capability
Provide feedback on system design and implementation milestones
Test system prototypes and assess challenges/impacts related to devices and local communications infrastructure
Collect feedback from unit members on prototypes and other capabilities
Support user training during fielding
"The AIE was designed from the ground up with the field recruiter as the focus of system operations. At every decision point we asked ourselves, ‘how will this affect recruiters?’” said Jon Norton, strategic plans analyst with USAREC’s Commander’s Initiatives Group. “If we did not believe the decision would benefit the recruiter, we didn't do it. This is what led us to developing the early adopter group."
Travel for selected personnel is possible but is expected to be minimal, the majority of duties can be accomplished at the individual’s home station. If group members do need to travel, location is anticipated to be Fort Knox.
How were early adopters selected?
In September, USAREC headquarters tasked each brigade to provide five nominees per battalion. All recruiter candidates were required to have at least one year of experience, and all 79R cadre recruiters had to be current or past successful station commanders, first sergeants or V7 qualified NCOs.
Units across the command nominated a total of 237 Soldiers and civilians as potential early adopters. These nominees were further screened by the AIE team, assessing factors such as openness to new products/technologies, time remaining in USAREC, and past experience with innovation.
What is AIE-R?
Accessions Information Environment – Recruiting, or AIE-R, is USAREC's portion of AIE, an Army initiative to completely replace the current accessions systems and tools. The initiative started in 2014 and was originally called the Recruiting Information Environment. Since that time, accessions mission partners from Cadet Command and the Army National Guard have been brought on board, so the total Army can have a complete solution.