USA — Big cost savings comes in tiny package

FORT KNOX, Ky. — Over the past year a 4‑pound elec­tron­ic device about the size of a child’s shoe­box has saved U.S. Army Recruit­ing Com­mand mil­lions of dol­lars and thou­sands of recruiter man-hours. The small device enables recruiters to gath­er fin­ger­prints for FBI back­ground checks on appli­cants before they go to the Mil­i­tary Entrance Pro­cess­ing Sta­tion.

 DHS fingerprint machine
DHS fin­ger­print machine
Click to enlarge

Part of a Depart­ment of the Army pilot ini­tia­tive now called “Project Live Scan,” the devices were placed in approx­i­mate­ly two-thirds of recruit­ing sta­tions last April.

“I don’t think words can explain how great it’s been,” said Sgt. 1st Class James Alston, the Eliz­a­beth­town, Ky., Recruit­ing Cen­ter com­man­der. “It’s elim­i­nat­ed a whole lot of unneed­ed trav­el time for recruiters.”

The time sav­ings is approx­i­mate­ly four hours per appli­cant, accord­ing to Acces­sions Com­mand sur­veys. By mov­ing the fin­ger­print­ing step to the fore­front of the recruit­ing process recruiters know with­in a few days whether or not an appli­cant has a crim­i­nal record. By run­ning the scans ear­ly, when the appli­cant com­mits to enlist­ing, recruiters don’t have to waste valu­able time pro­cess­ing unqual­i­fied appli­cants, as is some­times the case when fin­ger­prints aren’t tak­en until the poten­tial future Sol­dier goes to Mil­i­tary Entrance Pro­cess­ing Sta­tion, or MEPS.

Gen­er­al­ly, the mere men­tion of an FBI crim­i­nal back­ground check has a way of bring­ing out the truth, said Ron­nie Creech, chief, G3 Tech­ni­cal Sup­port Branch USAREC HQ.

“Most of the time, when you have an appli­cant who’s not being com­plete­ly truth­ful, when you get to the point where you’re ready to put their hand on the machine to get a fin­ger­print and you tell them you’re going to send it to the FBI to retrieve any pos­si­ble crim­i­nal record, chances are, if they have some­thing, they’re going to tell you at that point,” Creech explained. “And if not, we’re going to find out any­way.”

Alston, whose cen­ter was among the first to receive the device, esti­mates Live Scan has saved his recruiters about 30 man-hours a week, time now bet­ter spent engag­ing prospects.

“This has allowed us more time to spend in the schools and in com­mu­ni­ties, giv­en us more face time with the pub­lic. When you have time to do that, it gen­er­ates a more pos­i­tive [image] for the Army. We coun­sel [youth] — even those who don’t want to join the Army — just to give them [some] guid­ance and direc­tion. Maybe lat­er they’ll refer some­one to join the Army.”

The pro­gram is also sav­ing the Army mil­lions of dol­lars, accord­ing to Creech.

“In 2009 USAREC saved around $1 mil­lion in one battalion’s geo­graph­i­cal area in train­ing seat loss­es. Mul­ti­ply that across the entire com­mand — 38 bat­tal­ions — and you’re talk­ing about mil­lions.”

There were a few grow­ing pains ear­ly on with the pro­gram but noth­ing major, accord­ing to Nick Har­ri­son, divi­sion chief for Army Recruit­ing Infor­ma­tion Sup­port Sys­tem G3 tech sup­port.

“We were learn­ing the best way to build the net­work, how to store and trans­mit data to dif­fer­ent agen­cies in sup­port of the recruiters’ busi­ness prac­tices and oper­a­tional needs,” Har­ri­son said. “We had to stay with­in the con­fines of the law and could­n’t arbi­trar­i­ly fin­ger­print civil­ians. They had to have the intent to process and enlist. We had to learn all the things we need­ed to do.”

Now that the kinks have been worked out, the remain­ing 540 sta­tions are sched­uled to receive the devices by the end of Decem­ber, which is a year ahead of sched­ule.

In addi­tion, the Depart­ment of Army last April agreed to pay for the devices as well as the ear­ly fin­ger-print­ing process of all Army appli­cants. In exchange, DA civil­ian and con­trac­tor job appli­cants can have their fin­ger­prints processed at a recruit­ing sta­tion near their homes.

The fin­ger-print­ing process does not remove the require­ment for recruiters to screen appli­cants for moral qual­i­fi­ca­tion. Creech empha­sizes Live Scan sim­ply pro­vides the tool to reveal moral dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tions before appli­cants process through MEPS.

Source:
U.S. Army

More news and arti­cles can be found on Face­book and Twit­ter.

Fol­low GlobalDefence.net on Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefenc.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →