KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany – Arriving at a new post, especially on a first-time overseas move, can be daunting. But, a constantly updated and expanding phone app can help make PCSing a little easier.
The Digital Garrison App, which can be downloaded on Android and Apple devices, provides users with secure access to facility information and other "quality-of-life" services by consolidating data from three related networks. The user can also switch between garrisons, which can come in handy in Europe.
“This app is extremely user friendly,” said Stefan Alford, USAG Rheinland-Pfalz public affairs chief. “You have a lot of garrison information at your fingertips and that’s important every day, but especially when you’re PCSing in or out of the Rheinland-Pfalz footprint.”
The app recently integrated a quick and simple way to submit work orders from Army housing and barracks residents with the Army Maintenance App (ArMA) built into the Digital Garrison App.
At last count, more than 1,200 people have downloaded the Digital Garrison App for USAG Rheinland-Pfalz.
"It puts real-time installation information in everybody's pockets," said Scott Malcom, Army Installation Command 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."
Almost 70 installations are represented on the app, with plans to add more in the future. That means the app could make a Soldier’s move easier on both ends as they can find the information on the offices they need at either installation.
Digital Garrison also provides an in-app shopping function through ShopMyExchange.com, along with local AAFES shopping and restaurant details. It also features a mobile wallet function where shoppers can use their MILITARY STAR card.
And, one of the first major updates will include local commissary information and a link to Click2Go, the Defense Commissary Agency's online grocery ordering portal and curbside pickup service, but only if the capability is available at a given installation.
“The decision to create the app shows the Army’s eagerness to transition from the ‘industrial age to the information age,’” Malcom said.
To download the app, go to the App store for your type of phone and search “Digital Garrison App” (look for the Army star). Once downloaded, click “Allow” for notifications so you can be alerted when the garrison sends out emergency push notifications. Click “Next,” then “Get Started” to create your login and select USAG Rheinland-Pfalz as your new Army garrison. It takes about two minutes from starting the download to using the app.