Pick your next duty assignment with a swipe on your phone

Sailors may soon be able to use smart phones to request reenlistment, find their next duty assignment and take care of admin-related paperwork as the Navy plans to pull the trigger on a massive information technology transformation.

Navy personnel officials are already working on a new, single computer system, a critical hurdle in the sweeping personnel reforms that will assist in managing day-to-day details and change how sailors are assigned, promoted and retained.

Sailors could begin seeing the effects of the change as early as this year.

The Navy will ask an array of well-known American tech companies to provide options for off-the-shelf technology to convert Navy’s lumbering bureaucracy and outdated data systems into a cloud-based portal with easy-to-use apps.

“We’re going to roll this out pretty quickly,” Vice Adm. Robert Burke told Navy Times in a recent interview.

“We are going be able to make all of our transactions services completely mobile accessible. If you get married, you take a photo of your marriage certificate and upload it and you’re done. You’ll never have to go to the office to do it.”

The Pentagon recently granted the Navy a first-of-its-kind authorization to consolidate service members’ personally identifiable information in a cloud-based system. Until now, all personnel data was maintained on Defense Department servers and internal information systems.

The changes will reach far beyond being simply a more user-friendly app for sailors to file paperwork.

The sweeping IT systems update will consolidate more than 50 existing databases, some of which date back to the 1960s and use a patchwork of antiquated coding languages like Fortran and Cobalt. Those technologies have severely limited the Navy’s ability to effectively manage its modern workforce.

Unlike many military systems that are built from scratch and take years to develop, the Navy plans to contract with a private-sector tech company to use existing systems that will allow an almost immediate impact.

The Navy will begin testing a new pay and personnel system this summer at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes. Initially, it will run alongside…

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