Army’s new Digital Garrison app offers guide to installation services, facilities, activities
Army News Service
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Aug. 11, 2020) – The Army has launched the new Digital Garrison mobile app that provides information and facilitates access to a full array of on-post services, as part of a partnership with the Army & Air Force Exchange Service, or AAFES.
The app, which can be downloaded on Android and Apple devices, provides users with secure access to facility information and other "quality-of-life" services by consolidating data from three related networks, said Scott Malcom, Army Installation Management Command public affairs director.
"It puts real-time installation information in everybody's pockets," Malcom said. "There are hundreds of thousands of people that access Army installations every day. Almost every one carries a cell phone. The app will add value to their time spent on an installation -- whether it is to live, work, train, or play."
Within the app, Soldiers, families, veterans, and civilians living or working at a Digital Garrison-enabled post can access resources about their local exchange; Army Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation program; and other services.
More than 60 installations are represented on the app, with plans to add more in future updates, Malcom said.
Digital Garrison will include an installation directory, gate locations and hours, fitness and recreation options, weather, event information, and more, he said.
Soldiers and families who are new to an area also can access in-processing and other newcomer material before a permanent change of station, Malcom said.
Digital Garrison also provides an in-app shopping function through ShopMyExchange.com, along with local AAFES shopping and restaurant details. It also features a mobile wallet function where shoppers can use their Military Star card.
Program officials are set to continually improve the app, based on feedback from users, in addition to regularly scheduled major updates. One of the first major updates includes local commissary information.
“Feedback is very important to us,” Malcom said. "The app includes a feedback portion where users can communicate and help us shape it going forward."
Push notifications for emergencies are another important feature of the app, Malcom said. For example, installation officials may send notifications during times of inclement weather.
Leaders also will have the ability to write customized messages and announcements to distribute to the force through the app, Malcom said.
Residents of on-post housing also will be able to link to their installation’s privatized housing partner, he said. Personnel living in military housing will eventually have a similar capability.
Digital Garrison will become the Army enterprise mobile app for installations, Malcom added, ensuring compliance with the Federal Information Security Management Act and other cybersecurity protocols.
The partnership that brought the Digital Garrison app to life started in July 2019, Malcom said. At that time, the Exchange, IMCOM, and Army MWR were all developing apps to essentially do the same thing – provide information about on-post services or activities.
“The Exchange is honored to partner with the Army to ensure the 125-year-old Exchange benefit remains relevant to its communities,” said Karen Cardin, AAFES senior vice president for customer experience.
The decision to create the app shows the Army’s eagerness to transition from the “industrial age to the information age,” Malcom said.
“The Exchange worked side-by-side with IMCOM to put real-time information in the hands of Soldiers, families and civilians,” Cardin added. “Digital Garrison is another chapter in our long relationship with Army families, allowing us to fulfill our mission to make life better for those who serve.”