Support: Personnel Services Battalions Morph Away


June 14,2008: 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 Internet.

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 like.)




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