I'd Link to That
Unofficial U.S. Navy Information and Resource Training Site
In 2001, Lt. Kelly Beamsley had a crazy idea. He decided to be a Navy Reserve recruiter in Fort Worth, Texas. But bringing a member into the Navy, he quickly realized, was the easy part. The hard part was what he could now do to support this member.
Most people do not know the plight of the Navy Reservist. Especially for new accessions who have never been active duty before. And where do you go for answers? Yes, Navy Operational Support Centers exist all over the world to help ease transitions and keep Sailors on track, but with so many people to support, the Sailor has to be able to find answers on their own if and when possible. And where do you even begin?
"The light bulb moment, being new to the reserves; simply wanting to know the ins and outs of the organization," said Beamsley, now a Lieutenant Commander. "My simple mindset was, how do I get stuff done, and where do I go to accomplish these tasks?"
There was website after website Beamsley could turn to for answers. And that was the problem. It was like a fourth Law of Motion. For every question, there is a website and two more questions. So Beamsley decided to do something about it.
He developed a one stop resource page for all things Navy. The website www.kellybeamsley.com has become a Reservist's best friend.
The website features a top nine most frequently visited websites, complete with links. Below that in alphabetical order is every single resource website the Navy has to offer. The site also contains pay charts, Evaluation and Fitrep tips, award writing resources, family care plan help, DTS instructions and links to 'how to' videos, and much more.
"When I first started in 2001, I had no clue about search engines," said Beamsley. "My simple dissemination method was word of mouth through recruiters - 90 out of 100 Officer Recruiters use the site & prior DCO applicants."
Around 2007 Beamsley simplified the site from about 140 Web pages, (he initially included a lot of recruiting pages) down to just one resource page. From April of 2014 to April of 2015 the site had gotten 1,135,405 visits. Divide that by 365 and the site gets about 3,113 per day.
"It's pretty cool," said Beamsley. "I helped more than 3,000 people get somewhere. I guess I can check the box in having helped your shipmate today. From a business perspective, this is pure value added."
It has taken 14 years of fine tuning for the website to be what it is today. At this point maintenance takes five minutes or less depending on what needs updating; changing a link, adding a reference, that sort of thing, easy. If there is something that requires research, well, it could take an hour or more.
And time isn't the only thing Beamsley spends on the site. He spends money as well. Domain names and hosts cost money. Total expense minus labor runs Beamsley about $7 a month.
"For about $7 a month, I can help 94,700 visitors get somewhere unknown, or help them get to a site quicker in the Navy system," said Beamsley.