The Digital Training Management System (DTMS) is the Army’s system of record for recording, tracking, and planning training. As the Army’s training management proponent, the Training Management Directorate (TMD) manages and maintains DTMS. This responsibility includes identifying and resolving user or system issues and modifying the system in line with Headquarters Department of the Army guidance to incorporate policy changes impacting how users record and track training information. Over the past year, Army enterprise changes have placed a premium on communicating with Army DTMS users. As a result, TMD now hosts periodic DTMS Q&A sessions as a forum to share information and valuable insights on DTMS capabilities.
TMD understood the potential impact of implementing changes within DTMS, such as those associated with the Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) implementation and the Army’s transition to the Integrated Personnel and Pay System – Army (IPPS-A). While these changes were discussed during the DTMS Users Group with points of contact of Army commands, Mike Higginbottom, the Training Management Capability Division Chief, identified that TMD needed to reach a wider audience.
To communicate changes and explain DTMS functionality, “we needed to get to the people who use DTMS on a daily basis,” Higginbottom said.
Although the Army Training Management System (ATMS) assists individual customers with specific issues, Higginbottom said he believes the Q&A sessions offer the ability to “better educate users on the capability of the system.” Inviting DTMS points of contact, administrators, and operators expands TMD’s reach and opens the aperture to share information across the entire DTMS community of practice.
TMD schedules the Q&A sessions when significant changes to DTMS may require users to have a more in-depth understanding. Each DTMS Q&A session follows a standard format and is conducted on MS Teams. The sessions begin with a short information briefing on a relevant topic. The introductory topic then flows into an open forum for questions and discussion on any DTMS-related issue.
Higginbottom selected Anthony Woodard, the ATMS Help Desk lead, to host the Q&A sessions. Woodard’s experience working DTMS issues, knowledge of how the system works, prior military service, and understanding of how software changes impact users, enable him to provide valuable expertise. In addition, DTMS points of contact and administrators taking part in the session often share their knowledge and expertise which improves the experience for all participants.
The first DTMS Q&A session, held in August 2022, focused on the most common user issue: correctly building DTMS accounts. This issue requires DTMS managers to create accounts to manage training records in DTMS based on the user’s legacy user identification, and results in almost half of all calls to the Help Desk.
Subsequent Q&A sessions in November 2022, January 2023, and March 2023, dealt with how to enter ACFT scores, the impact of medical profiles on ACFT scores, the IPPS-A transition impacts on DTMS, and how to enter weapons assignments and qualifications.
The next Q&A session is tentatively scheduled for early June 2023. Notifications with the specific date go out via email through the DTMS Users Group and banners posted on the ATN Home Page and the ATMS Help Desk page. A few days prior to the session, TMD will post the MS Teams link on ATN, the ATMS Help Desk page, and on DTMS. Individuals interested in attending the Q&A sessions can also follow TMD on Facebook, Twitter, and milBook (Training Management Directorate’s Army Training Forum or DTMS Managers and Users Knowledge Center) to receive session notifications and other Training Management related information.
The June Q&A session will focus on DTMS changes resulting from Army Directive 2023-08 (Army Body Fat Assessment Exemption for ACFT Score). The directive exempts Soldiers scoring a minimum of 540 on the ACFT and a minimum of 80 points in each of the six primary ACFT events from the Body Fat Percentage measurement, even if the Soldier did not “Pass” the AR 500-9 Height / Weight screening. TMD is modifying DTMS to implement the new policy requirements into the DTMS user interface and allow accurate recording of the training information.
The DTMS Q&A sessions are an excellent resource for obtaining accurate information on the system. Each session covers topical issues and provides an opportunity to explore other items of interest to the community. It is also an opportunity for participants to ask questions and tap into the knowledge and experience of the larger group. Another benefit of the Q&A sessions is the ability of participants to expand their network within the community of practice and gain a better understanding of DTMS to help address future questions or issues.
However, Soldiers don’t have to wait for a Q&A session to get help with DTMS. Contact the ATMS Help Desk by phone, email, or chat. The DTMS Knowledge Base on ATN also provides access to the DTMS User’s Guide, DTMS Quick Reference Guide, and tutorials that can assist in learning more about the system.