U.S. Navy Reserve

Ready-2-Serve app prototype

Background

Making it easier to serve

There are more than 50,000 people who serve part-time in the U.S. Navy Reserve, accounting for one out of every five people in the naval force.

Calling up reservists for duty can be difficult. Most have to travel to a duty station and use an official computer to check deployment orders or submit required paperwork rather than doing it from home. It’s inconvenient and time-consuming for reservists, and causes operational headaches for the military.

Approach

Tying multiple legacy systems into a single user experience

Reservists must log in to multiple systems to check their status and resolve any issues. The Navy Reserve wanted to have a single, unified user experience that pulled information from those systems together, but they weren’t sure if that was even possible. 18F built a working prototype in just a few hours to show that a unified system was indeed possible, and used that to get buy-in from stakeholders.

18F then talked to reservists about their experiences with the deployment process to learn what information would be most important to access on their own mobile phones. We helped the Navy understand the end-to-end experience of reservists going through the deployment process, from pre-orders to returning home and receiving their pay. All of this information went into prototypes that a private vendor used to build the app.

After a test launch with 100 early adopters, the Ready-2-Serve mobile app for Apple and Android devices was made available to all reservists in 2016. Our work helped fulfill a major mission goal in less than a year by allowing reservists to more rapidly and efficiently respond to national security incidents and natural disasters.

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