By Amy L. Bugala, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii Public AffairsMarch 29, 2010
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii Aca,!" The U.S. Army Garrison-HawaiiAca,!a,,cs identification card issuing facilities will soon transition from the current walk-in system to an appointment-only system creating a valuable time savings for customers, here.
Aca,!A"Right now, when customers walk in to the ID card/Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System facilities they are faced with an unpredictable wait time,Aca,!A? said Sean Karamath, chief, Personnel Services Branch, USAG-HI.
Implementing an appointment-only system will allow our customers to plan ahead and drastically reduce the long wait times and the associated frustrations, he explained.
The transition to the new system is scheduled to start late July. The new system will allow customers to book and cancel appointments online from a link through the garrison Web site, by phone, or at a kiosk located at the Schofield facility in Building 750, said Karamath.
Online users will be able to search available appointments and schedule same-day services. Emergency walk-in requests, such as a lost or confiscated ID/Common Access Card or new enrollment in DEERS for urgent medical care will be accommodated.
Aca,!A"I think that this is a fabulous idea,Aca,!A? said Michelle Carroll, a Department of Defense employee who recently stopped by the Schofield facility to get an ID card issued for her 2-year-old son, Beniah. Carroll said she didnAca,!a,,ct experience a long wait, but with one glance at the rows of chairs in the waiting area, and the predicted wait-time chart hanging on the wall, she can see how the new system will benefit customers.
Aca,!A"You should have seen it yesterday,Aca,!A? said Jazmin Meekins, a verifying official at the facility confirming current wait-time unpredictability. Meekins is looking forward to working with the new system, and she hopes the appointments will alleviate customer stress in the waiting area, which she feels will make her job less stressful as well.
ID card transactions vary but generally take between five to 20 minutes per customer. The eight ID card workstations between the two facilities process more than 3,100 transactions per week, including issuing 380 ID cards, said Karamath.
The new system is expected to accommodate our current volume,Aca,!A? he added.
USAG-HI facilities have seen wait-times increase in the past year due to a variety of factors.Aca,!E+Factors include a Department of Homeland Security initiative, which now requires customers to present two forms of photo ID to be scanned into the system; fielding of a new version of the ID/DEERS card equipment and program in Hawaii; increased traffic from redeployments; and customer overflow from other service branch ID card facilities.
The Directorate of Human Resources began looking at changing the strictly walk-in system after a recent assessment visit by the Defense Manpower Data Center in December 2009. The online ID card appointment system the DMDC recommended is already being used by the Navy, Air Force and Marine facilities on the island of Oahu, and at mainland and overseas locations with favorable results.
Aca,!A"The appointment system creates less chaos and waiting,Aca,!A? said Noreen Demers, site security manager, DEERS/ID Cards Department at Personnel Support Detachment, Pearl Harbor, where the online appointment system has been in use since 2005. Aca,!A"We rarely have complaints about the wait here at all.Aca,!A?
Walk-in ID card facilities at USAG-HI are one of the last military ID card facilities on the island of Oahu to convert to an appointment-only system. Customers can check out a working version of the online appointment system at www.psdph.navy.mil/cac%20statement.htm.
Karamath is looking forward to Aca,!A"happy customers,Aca,!A? and customers are looking forward to the convenience.