FORT HOOD, Texas – Religious Affairs Specialists from across III Armored Corps and 3rd Infantry Division collaborated on the training and management of the U.S. Army Chaplain Corps’ enterprise platform, “One Stop 56,” at Fort Hood, Texas for two days in late March.
The implementation of OS56 supports the III Armored Corps strategy of digital modernization with the focus of taking care of people first to increase lethality. The platform is nested with the Army’s strategy to make data visible, accessible, understandable, trustable, and interoperable.
“One of the top priorities of the Army is to view data as a strategic asset and to treat that data as a weapon system,” said George Watlington Jr., IT program manager, Army Office of the Chief of Chaplains. “Whoever has the information has the advantage.”
The OS56 platform consolidates multiple religious support programs into a single application to improve data management and streamline required financial resources to support the religious affairs specialist’s role as a provider and advisor, Watlington said.
“We are trying to leverage OS56 to assist where resources are needed whether it is on people, money, or facilities," he added. "The program will help manage time by looking at their data.”
Many times, the Unit Ministry Team is the first stop for Soldiers seeking help. OS54 provides an effective way to display data to strengthen the organizational mission.
“This training will give our UMTs a better understanding of how to operate and utilize the program across the commands and Army,” said Sgt. Cynita Worthington, a religious affairs specialist from the 3rd Inf. Div., Fort Stewart, Georgia, who attended the training. “The information will keep our commander informed on trends so Soldiers can continue to conduct their mission.”
Moreover, the data can offer insight into what affects morale, either bad or good, explained Staff Sgt. Joseph Freeman, religious affairs specialist, 1st Armored Division, Fort Bliss, Texas.
Unit ministry teams are trained to recognize the physical, mental, and spiritual challenges Soldiers face every day. They recommend opportunities to provide spiritual fitness programs, suicide prevention training, and intervention, among others.
“Trends on domestic abuse, sexual assault, and suicide are some of the areas within a unit the data can provide insight,” Worthington, the 3rd Inf. Div. religious affairs specialist said. “We can identify issues that could be affecting Soldiers and intervene before it is too late.”
By integrating on a single platform, UMTs across the Army can collaborate to communicate easily with other organizations. This collaboration is important as it identifies the most productive methods for coordinating and resourcing impactful religious support programs.
“The ultimate goal is to take care of Soldiers and families in the most efficient and effective manner possible,” said Watlington, the IT program manager from the Army Chief of Chaplains. “That’s the overarching goal when we’re talking about helping people first and foremost.”