Soldiers across Fort Campbell have spent the past month getting familiar with the new Army Maintenance Application, or ArMA, and now the installation’s service technicians are prepared to take it to the next level.
ArMA was designed to streamline the barracks work order process. Bastogne Soldiers who live in the barracks participated in the app’s pilot phase that began Dec. 1, 2020, and all others across the installation received access Jan. 1.
Service technicians are expected to start testing the app’s interface Feb. 8 as part of the Field Service Management, or FSM, phase.
Fort Campbell is leading the way as one of the first to enter FSM, alongside U.S. Army Garrison-Bavaria, Germany.
“The second phase is earth-shattering for us,” said Jeremy Rains, chief of the Business Management Office, Directorate of Public Works. “If we can get that piece to work and it has the potential to be as accessible as we think it is, that’s where you’re going to see basically the DPWs of the Army just leap into the 21st century.”
Rains is setting up about 150 iPhones meant to train service technicians on the app, which will allow them to receive work orders directly from Soldiers across post. Those requests can include photos, contact numbers and more information to make sure technicians arrive quickly and fully prepared.
“There was a good example we saw where somebody may have said, ‘hey, I’ve been in the barracks and I don’t have any hot water,’” Rains said. “Maybe somebody doesn’t want to believe that – well, he actually took a thermometer and measured the temperature of the water and that was the photo he sent.”
Highlighting the ability to send photos with a work order is one of the ways DPW is working to drive up ArMA’s registration numbers. There are nearly 400 users signed up as of Feb. 1, and those numbers are rising as Jessica Stonesifer, acting director of DPW, continues a series of briefings with Soldiers about the app.
“The real benefit of this is that anybody can go in and submit a work order,” Stonesifer said Jan. 29 during a briefing at Strike Dining Facility. “For us, it’s great for those to be called in because the sooner you know about something being broken the cheaper and easier it is to fix.”
Sergeant Strawberry Karr, 531st Hospital Center, 44th Medical Brigade, serves as a barracks manager. She has seen Soldiers wait at least a month to tell her about maintenance issues. Karr expects ArMA to prevent that from happening in the future because it empowers Soldiers to submit work orders directly.
“I just hope the Soldiers really take advantage of this,” she said. “You have to take pride in where you live. It doesn’t matter if it’s the barracks or your own house … if something’s broken, say something about it or it’s not going to get fixed.”
Barracks managers such as Karr are submitting Soldiers’ work orders through ArMA while DPW works to help Soldiers sign up for the app. Requests being completed range from fixing locks to working on heating units.
Specialist Daniel Szkolny, 96th Aviation Support Battalion, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), said his barracks’ work orders are being completed at the usual speed but are tracked more effectively.
“You get an instant confirmation with the work order number and stuff,” Szkolny said. “The old system before, sometimes you’d put stuff in and it’d fall through the cracks. With this new system, it seems like nothing gets missed.”
Soldiers also are offering feedback to improve the app based on their experiences during the trial period.
“One of the things is when you make an account, you make an account for a specific building,” Szkolny said. “We have a bunch of buildings for our barracks, but I can only put in work orders for a specific building now with the new system.”
Karr said letting barracks managers track work orders is important as well, especially when it comes to keeping command staff informed.
“I myself don’t have access to be able to look at all the work orders in the building,” she said. “With the old work status page I’m able to go online and just pull up the work status, but for the ArMA app … I can only pull up something that I put in under my account.”
Rains said those are among the most common suggestions DPW is receiving from Soldiers, and Installation Management Command is working to address their concerns.
Another priority is making sure Soldiers know signing up for the app is a two-step process. The Digital Garrison app includes an ArMA request link, but Soldiers need to respond to an email verification before they can use it, Rains said.
“Say you don’t have easy access to your government email,” he said. “You can put a buddy who does as a sponsor, and your buddy can confirm it.”
Signing up is even more important because the end goal is to implement ArMA for facilities across the post, Rains said.
“This is where we’re going to open a lot of eyes, we think, and show that there’s a better way to do this and this is the direction the Army needs to go in,” he said.
Get the app
The Army Maintenance Application is available through the Digital Garrison App. Digital Garrison App is a free app available to anyone for download at the App Store for Apple devices and Google Play for Android. Once the app is downloaded, users will be prompted to create an account. By selecting Fort Campbell as the location of choice, users will have all of the installation’s information available instantly. Within the Digital Garrison App, click the Army Maintenance Application link and create an ArMA account. Information required to register includes military email address, location/building of residence, unit and phone number. Users can specify their ArMA notification preferences as email, text message or both during registration. There is also the ability for Soldiers to report bugs or errors to the app developers and Fort Campbell Directorate of Public Works.