In the latest improvement to Reserve Force modernization, Commander, Navy Reserve Forces Command is beta-testing a new application using cloud computing, mobile-friendly interfaces and digital capabilities to help modernize administrative processes and customer interaction.
The Reserve Relationship Management tool, or R2M, will increase the automation, standardization and shared information available to the Reserve Force for managing organizational business relationships — a critical part of the Chief of Navy Reserve’s overall information technology strategy.
“The modernization of Navy Reserve equipment as well as its systems is critical to ensure that the Reserve remains interoperable with the active component to be called to do the nation’s bidding whenever and wherever it may so choose,” said Vice Adm. Luke McCollum, Chief of Navy Reserve, who added that modernization efforts like R2M improve efficiency and lethality throughout the Reserve Force by modernizing administrative practices and aligning with fleet and warfighting requirements.
At the user level, R2M promises real-time access to processes that would normally require logging into a Navy computer system or even an in-person trip to a Navy Operational Support center. For Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) Richmond, the beta test of the program is already showing merit.
“As an example,” said Ens. Raymond Decatur, executive officer of NOSC Richmond. “We had a SELRES traveler whose Defense Travel System (DTS) claim had not moved. The Sailor created a trouble ticket in R2M. We were able to assist the Sailor through the DTS process via the R2M app to resolve his issue without an email, phone call or a visit to the NOSC.”
R2M Project Manager Cmdr. Matthew McLauchlin says the new platform will allow Reserve Sailors and NOSC leadership to track tasking and complete many administrative processes without requiring Reservists to physically visit their NOSC.
“Enhanced communication and customer service, improved data and reporting and better collaboration and automation of everyday tasks are a few ways R2M is increasing efficiency,” said McLauchlin. “Minimizing administrative delays will directly result in a more agile and lethal Reserve Force.”
McLauchlin adds that during the development phase, his team used feedback from Sailors through the Ready To Win (R2W) Idea Portal, with a focus on prioritizing areas that would directly improve the lives of Reservists.
So far, R2M features access to a Funeral Honors app allowing increased visibility of upcoming scheduled events, pre-mobilization checklists, drill weekend taskings, resources for applying for Reserve service bonuses, medical retention review status tracking, and access to purchase request forms and unit gains/losses.
Administrative interactions entered by Reserve Sailors through R2M will be identified, documented and recorded. The new process will streamline and improve customer service, build an accessible database of best practices to provide quicker solutions to common issues, and allow every Reservist the ability to track his or her completed drills and tasks.
“R2M is a very useful and easy to use tool that not only allows transaction transparency for the Sailor, it allows NOSC leadership to track the overall progress and effectiveness of their respective departments,” said Decatur. “I believe as this application becomes fully integrated into the way the Navy Reserve does business, we will see admin turnaround times improve across the Force.”
NOSC Richmond and NOSC Schenectady are currently the only two Reserve centers assisting with the beta testing, focusing mainly on the utilization of special request and trouble ticket submissions in the R2M system. But McLauchlin says more NOSCs will be added by the summer as more system capabilities are finalized.
For now, Reserve Sailors are encouraged to continue to submit Reserve Force improvement suggestions on the R2W Idea Portal at www.r2w.navy.mil.
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