By U.S. Army Col. Simon R. Goerger
Director, DRRS Implementation Office and senior readiness analyst
Change is hard. I knew that when I became the director of the DRRS Implementation Office. But how hard could this job be? I understand that changing readiness reporting was a major shift in DoD, but that shift began well before I took this job.
The mission was clear, DoD needed leaders to plan for and respond to emerging threats that face our nation in a timely and effective manner. Deployments in the late 1990s to Bosnia and Kosovo caused a reexamination of how forces measured the ability to execute a broad range of missions. While forces were ready for assigned peacekeeping missions, they were not able to maintain readiness for traditional, core missions. The question of “Ready for What?” came up repeatedly, but commanders were limited to reporting in a highly structured Cold War reporting system.
I came into this job after the new readiness reporting system was operational. I am pleased at the progress so far, yet there is still much to be done. Commanders are assessing readiness in DRRS or through service-specific feeder systems. Mission essential tasks in each service, Combat Support Agency, and COCOM are in place and being further refined. Authoritative data systems are incorporated and available in a business intelligence tool. DRRS is providing a comprehensive overview of a unit’s manpower, skill sets, equipment and capabilities — streamlining the decision-making process.
The easiest way to understand the power of the system is to see how it is used. Today, many COCOM staffs brief their leadership directly from DRRS on the ability of their assigned forces to accomplish the tasks required for a specific operation or contingency plan. DRRS synthesizes readiness data, allowing decision makers to prepare for the expected, respond to the unforeseen, and effectively mitigate risk.
So why is there so much work still to be done? This is a big job, not because of technology, but because of the number of stakeholders, the importance of the assessments, and the many uses of this process. We continue to work with users to improve the enterprise and meet the demand for emerging readiness information. Our office is working to refine requirements and to improve the way information is viewed. We are enhancing standardized reports using the business intelligence tool. We are educating leaders and training staffs to leverage DRRS in everyday operations allowing for faster and better informed decisions.