So Joe finally finishes his foray into the world of military computer networks. All those acronyms and initials and so on that he mentioned are not important to know, but just to give an idea of how many different types of sites we have to navigate, frequently on our own time. Each of them are –in my opinion– unnecessarily Byzantine in nature.
In truth, everything in the Army (and the military in general) is supposed to be laid out as simply as possible. Unfortunately, “simple” and straightforward web sites that don’t take up a lot of fancy code or bandwidth end up being walls of text, and that’s pretty much what things like AKO (Army Knowledge Online) are. Or, in the case of DTS (Defense Travel Services, the one Joe just finished with), multiple pages full of options that are frequently confusing or relate to things on other pages in ways you’re not sure of. Travelers in DTS are supposed to know their unit’s “funding string”, which is a chain of alpha-numeric codes several dozen figures long that, on the surface, appears to be random alphabet soup. And I’ve tried getting travel to Fort Hunter-Liggett in California, only to be told that I can’t use DTS to travel to “foreign locations” (of course, things that happen at Ft. Hunter-Liggett are frequently out of this world, and not in the good way).
It sometimes seems that these systems are designed to frustrate and annoy, and I can’t help but wonder who benefits from that? People who sell anti-anxiety meds, I can only assume. Or people who own stock in alcohol companies might be a smart guess.