Posted on Oct 10, 2014
SFC Senior Human Resources Supervisor
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One of the major problems since the advent of computers (even before the Internet became a thing) was how we referenced, produced or recorded information.

Since the old days of typewriters and operator switchboards, we have a fast-paced world and an archaic method of publishing and storing information.

Let's look specifically at regulations (ARs).

Army Regulations are routinely treated as permanent, unless rescinded in full by another publication, or in part by All Army Activity (ALARACT) or Military Personnel (MILPER) messages. With a modernized, near-real-time environment where changes can be made immediately and communicated throughout the entire Army via HQDA/HRC electronic notifications, we now have an issue where we see more modifications made via "message" than by updating the regulation itself.

We now have to stay on top of virtually any and all ALARACT/MILPER messages as they, lately, have made dramatic alterations to the verbiage and enforcement of standing regulations.

Multiple questions stem from this:

1. Is the Army's system for publications out-dated?
2. How often do you have a Soldier who "knows more" than you because a new message trumped a portion of the regulation?
3. How often have you had to tell your Enlisted/Command leadership that their current SOP is not in compliance with new guidance?
Posted in these groups: Rules and regulations RegulationPolicy PolicyLeadership abstract 007 Leadership
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Responses: 2
CW5 Desk Officer
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Edited 7 y ago
SFC (Join to see), I will address point #1 (and your main point): I think the way we update regulations is convoluted and out of date. There must be a better way, with all the advances we have made in technology over the past couple of decades.

That said, when I worked in Army G-2, I was on the periphery of updating Army regulations associated with counterintelligence, and the bureaucracy involved to get a full update to a reg through the wickets and out to the field is mind boggling.

So, as "we" move to improve the method of updating regulations, we really need to include a look at improving the bureaucracy involved in updating a regulation as well. It's not just not taking full advantage of the technology, it's the bureaucratic tangle involved that slows things down. Things like everybody gets a chop, incorporating or contesting comments, legal reviews, publishing, etc.
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MSG Wade Huffman
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CW5 (Join to see) , you hit the nail on the head with comment of getting a full rewrite of a regulation published being mind boggling. I was part of the rewrite of AR 601-280 while I was an instructor and it's a completely insane process. By the time the 'new' regulation has been 'hacked off on' by all the powers that be (to include TJAG which took nearly a year alone), it's essentially outdated. As long as all the levels of bureaucratic checks are still required (and I don't see that changing) we're going to be stuck with message updates.
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CW5 Desk Officer
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Precisely, MSG Wade Huffman. That was my experience as well. It's a painfully slow process.
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