07 October, 2006

The Bane of My Existence

There are two things that are going to drive me to the loony bin. #1 is MEPS. #2 is Defense Travel System.

#1. Back in late June, one of my soldiers told me to come to the school as he had a girl who was interested in the Guard and he wanted to GRAP (Guard Recruiting Assistance Program) her. I went there and interviewed her to find that she was ready to join right now, but only 16. I told her I'd call her around her 17th birthday but to talk to her parents about it in the mean time. Her 17th birthday came and went and I could not seem to get a hold of her. Finally my soldier gets back from Basic Training and starts school again and finds that she's still interested. I FINALLY get to meet her parents and they sign the PC and we're ready to go to MEPS. The only thing I was worried about was her weight - she was about 3 pounds heavy than her max allowed weight. I held MEPS off a week and told her to work out and watch what she eats. She did, she went and ran on a treadmill at the school before school started every day for that week. Before leaving for MEPS I threw her on the scale and she remained the exact same weight. I figured she'd make body fat so out the door we went....

Permanently disqualified - recommend waiver. Wouldn't you guess it she made weight, but she's DQed for friggin "excessive scaring" in her ear - from Tubes when she was a child. Can she hear just fine? Yep, that checked out OK. Why the fuck does some scaring from tubes in her ears from 10 years ago matter?!

I used to be the lucky guy when it comes to MEPS. But out of my last 3 applicants, 2 have been DQed at MEPS! And all for STUPID reasons!

Why does MEPS have to be like this?!

Oh well, I'll submit the waiver to NGB next week when her drug test results come back and she'll enlist by the end of the month - hopefully.

#2. Defense Travel System is the new online system where you request travel orders and submit travel vouchers. It's all done online now, not on paper. Anybody who has used this website will agree with me that it's the most worthless POS ever created. First off, it's slower than old people fucking. When I say it's slow, I mean it's slow - like 14kbps modem slow! So when you FINALLY get it to load you have to stumble your way through requesting travel orders. Again, it takes forever to do this as well because there's 100 different pages to go through and each one takes forever to load. About every three pages you'll click the "Next" button and you'll get a nice screen saying "page cannot be displayed" - so you have to go back and start that page all over. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad if it weren't so damn confusing! Nothing is in the right order and it was made by somebody with intimate knowledge of travel orders but no common sense. To give you all an idea of how "user friendly" this website is, check out SC's post on AKO.

So I still need 3 to finish Oct and I have nothing. I don't even really have anything solid right now. I've got a couple of PS people ready for next month, but that doesn't help me! I need shit THIS month. With some hard work and riding my soldiers for leads, I'm sure it will pan out. Hell, I've got them ALL WEEKEND this weekend - I'm sure they'll give me someone.



SFC B said...

I despise DTS. It's a website that seems to serve no function beyond existing for its own sake.

I think any new travel order system should do at least one of two things that the previous system did.

1. Make requesting orders faster and/or easier.

2. Pay the Soldier back faster.

DTS does neither. The approval system is just as involved as the prior system and takes the same number of steps and time, and travel payments seem to have taken a step back.

Station Commando said...

DTS is one of those things were you have to have done something to know how to do it. Kind of like MEPS.

The only benefit of DTS to me is that I actually do my REAs. When it was paper I never did it. Just too much hassle.

Our budget guy sends out cheat sheets every now and then on how to do specific things in DTS. I keep them in my saved emails for when I forget how.