MyArmyLifeToo Web System
The U.S. Army’s Community and Family Support Center (CFSC) needed to develop a web system dedicated to spouse development and the dissemination of information on services to all Army families, including family members of the Guard and Reserve components. MyArmyLifeToo was designed to meet these needs through an interactive web interface that focuses on topic areas of interest to all types of users instead of relying on Army acronyms and program names. It also houses such applications as the VMIS and Personal Portfolio Manager.
Embedded with the Army culture, spouse development has traditionally been oriented on the role of spouses within the unit setting, preparing spouses for the challenges of unit deployments. As the Army continues to experience unprecedented change, spouse development must also change. Currently, there are numerous programs and initiatives that provide support, assistance, and training for Army spouses. Examples include Army Family Action Plan (AFAP), Family Advocacy Program (FAP), Army Family Team Building (AFTB), and numerous assistance programs available through Army Community Services. Although these programs exist, they are not easily accessible to geographically-dispersed spouses and families, especially those families of the Guard and Reserve. Program names didn’t convey enough about their focus for new Army spouses and family members to know to access them. Additionally, volunteer activity proved to be essential in spouse development. The Army needed a way to reach out to its families and get them involved.
DefenseWeb developed the MyArmyLifeToo web portal, www.myarmylifetoo.com, which organizes Army family programs under easy-to-understand topic areas such as “Home and Family Life” for programs such as FAP or “Getting Involved” for AFAP. The system also provides navigation by component: Active, Guard and Reserve. Additional key applications housed on the system include:
- VMIS: Through a fast and easy-to-navigate interface, Army spouses and family members can search and apply for Army volunteer opportunities without ever stepping onto an Army installation. Once placed in an opportunity, they may report their hours and manage their service record online. Volunteer managers also benefit from the online application. They can quickly and easily communicate with their volunteers, approve their hours, and post new volunteer opportunities to the online locator. Finally, all volunteer hours are available for rollup to region managers and headquarters the moment they are certified at an installation level.
- Personal Portfolio: The Personal Portfolio allows MyArmyLifeToo users to build a resume that not only incorporates their paid work experience but also leverages their volunteer work, as tracked in the VMIS. This is essential as many Army spouses gain some of their most valuable work experience through volunteer activities, which are largely left out of traditional resumes.
- Community-Building Features: Newsletters, online photo galleries, and other interactive tools allow families and Soldiers to stay in touch whatever the distance. Installation, regional and HQDA managers can use newsletters, articles, and updates to keep families informed and foster a sense of community within the group. New features like forums and the In Site Messenger bring 21st century technology to Army families and offer new ways for family members to communicate.
DefenseWeb’s solution for the MyArmyLifeToo Web Portal system has become the single point of entry for all CFSC Family Programs, Army Community Service (ACS) and Army Volunteer management. The MyArmyLifeToo Web Portal system has achieved success in organizing Army family programs under easy-to-understand topic areas, integrating all of the CFSC applications and functionality for the Virtual Family Readiness Groups (vFRG), Army Family Team Building (AFTB) and Army Community Services (ACS).