The U.S. Army recently deactivated
it's last five World War II era Personnel Services Battalion (PSB). "Personnel"
has evolved into "Human Resources" over the last few decades, and the Personnel
Services Battalion is another sign of decentralization brought to you by the
PSBs got a
new lease on life in the 1960s, when mainframe and mini-computers became small
enough to move around, and powerful enough to justify keeping personnel
operations centralized. But that approach lacked the personal touch, and became
increasingly irrelevant as many personnel services in the civilian world
migrated to the web. The troops noticed, and eventually, so did the army brass.
So as part
of the current reorganization, the one that is making the army "brigade
centric" instead of, as it has been for
nearly two centuries, "division centric,"
many personnel services are migrating to the web. Either the soldiers
themselves take care of the web-based documents, or it is done at brigade
headquarters. The S1 (the personnel section at brigade headquarters) will now
offer more services, most of them via the web. New, smaller Personnel Services
units are being formed to take care of the smaller number of centralized
services that remain (delivering mail, consolidation of statistics and the