A screenshot of the new Digital Garrison mobile app, availalbe on either the Apple or Google Play app stores.
A screenshot of the new Digital Garrison mobile app, availalbe on either the Apple or Google Play app stores. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

The latest updates to the recently launched Digital Garrison mobile app, now include local commissary information and a link to Click2Go, the Defense Commissary Agency’s online grocery ordering portal and curbside pickup service.

The app provides users with secure access to facility information and other “quality-of life” services by consolidating data from three related networks, said Scott Malcom, Army Installation Management Command public affairs director.

“It puts real-time installation information in everybody’s pockets,” Malcom said.

App features

Users can customize the app to meet their needs. Information specific to each user’s community such as an installation directory of available services, gate locations, fitness and recreation options, events and more.

Push notifications for emergencies are also an important feature of the app, Malcom said. For example, installation officials may send a pre-drafted notification during an active shooter situation or at times of inclement weather.

Soldiers and families who are new to the area can also access in-processing and other newcomer material before a permanent change of station, Malcom said.

“Feedback is very important to us,” Malcom said. “The app includes a feedback portion where users can communicate and help us shape it going forward. This is not a ‘one and done.’ Users can count on the fact that we will continually optimize the app after launch.”

Residents of on-post housing can link to their installation’s privatized housing partner, he said. Personnel living in military housing will eventually have a similar capability.

Bridging capabilities

The partnership that brought the Digital Garrison app to life started in July 2019, Malcom said. At that time, the Exchange, IMCOM, and Army MWR were all developing apps to essentially do the same thing -- provide information about on-post services or activities.

The team released a Digital Garrison beta version in January, which fueled a more significant test of it in early March. During the limited user evaluation, a total of 10 installations throughout the U.S., including Hawaii and Alaska, and Germany were chosen by program officials to participate, Malcom said. “During that process, we learned how garrisons should prepare their online data to optimize its presentation in the app,” he said.

“We learned that the better a garrison maintains their websites that feed Digital Garrison, the better the garrison is represented in it. The pilot allowed us to work out all the details and provide clear instructions to all the installations feeding the app to prepare their data for transmission.”

This article originally ran in the Belvoir Eagle on August 26, 2020.