The U.S. Army recently partnered with the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) to create the Digital Garrison mobile app which integrates information from AAFES and two U.S. Army Installation Management Command (IMCOM)-operated website networks: https://home.army.mil and https://www.armymwr.com/.
Digital Garrison securely delivers information and facilitates access to a full range of installation quality-of-life services. Each instance of Digital Garrison is customizable to provide information specific to one of 63 Army garrisons selected by a user.
Picatinny Arsenal is one of the U.S. Army garrisons that is featured on the Digital Garrison app, which provides the user with updates on weather and information about a variety of services and offers on the installation.
"It puts real-time installation information in everybody's pockets," said Scott Malcom, IMCOM public affairs director. "There are hundreds of thousands of people that access Army installations every day. Almost every one carries a cell phone. The app will add value to their time spent on an installation--whether it is to live, work, train, or play."
Digital Garrison is the Army's enterprise app for its installations and will replace locally managed applications.
The application is a one-stop information source for Army communities. It puts real-time information in the hands of Soldiers, families, and civilians and keeps military communities connected, a key part of readiness and resiliency.
Garrison Commanders wanted a mobile app to facilitate access to installation services without overtaxing resources. In the summer of 2019, IMCOM was developing two apps, each to correspond with its two networks. AAFES was also developing its own app. Since all three intended to provide information and facilitate access to on-post services, the IMCOM Commanding General and the AAFES Director/CEO decided to work together to develop a single app that could present a more complete picture of available installation services in one place. From retail to recreation, and fitness to financial readiness, Digital Garrison connects users with a full range of quality-of-life services.
“Communication is essential for the success and morale of any organization,” said Lt. Col. Adam Woytowich, Picatinny Arsenal garrison commander. “For Picatinny Arsenal’s employees, families, and residents, the Digital Garrison app is a step in the right direction to better communicate information about our Installation. Updates regarding events, service hours of operation, facility points of contact, weather, and base closures, to name a few, will be readily available through this app. I encourage everyone in the Picatinny community to download Digital Garrison, free of charge, to your smartphone or tablet.”
IMCOM conducted a limited beta test of Digital Garrison from January-April 2020, with focus groups from 10 installations (Forts A.P. Hill, Campbell, Knox, Lee and Stewart, Redstone Arsenal, and USAGs Alaska, Hawaii, Wiesbaden, and West Point) to demonstrate proof of concept.
Once Digital Garrison was developed to the point of being able to meet its original charter, a focus group of garrison commanders and command sergeants major tested the app and directed improvements that leverage Digital Garrison’s ability to communicate with individuals and groups through push notifications, routine announcements, RSS news feeds etc.
Digital Garrison will continually improve. It integrates information about installation services provided by IMCOM (includes Army MWR), AAFES, the Defense Commissary Agency, and will soon link to other capabilities.
Digital Garrison provides the local installation community with information about quality-of-life services, command information, push notifications for high-priority information, location mapping, single sign-on, personalized home page, mobile shopping, mobile wallet, AAFES promotions and coupons, and in-app feedback.
The app is a one-stop shop for Soldiers and their families to find information about on-installation facilities and services.
Digital Garrison features:
• Information specific to each user’s community such as an installation directory, gate locations, fitness and recreation options, events and more.
• A dashboard, including user profile, weather details and information on local Exchange shopping and restaurants.
• Access to ShopMyExchange.com, with in-app shopping.
• A mobile wallet with sales promotions and a secure method for storing payment options.
The free app is available now in the Apple and Google Play app stores.
“Once you’ve had a chance to use the app, let us know what you think about it,” Woytowich said. “Most important to me is knowing what you don’t like or what information you think is absent, but should be added. Your feedback will be essential in helping shape this app to best suit our community’s needs.”