The Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System, or DEERS office, at Fort Campbell has made procuring ID cards a much smoother process for dependents, civilians, retirees and rear detachment Soldiers.
Starting just over two weeks ago, the DEERS office, through the Defense Data Manpower Program, has entered into a partnership with the Navy Common Access Card for a web-based appointment scheduler for ID cards.
The web appointment scheduler address for ID cards is http://appointments.cac.navy.mil/appointment/.
“The website is really simple. All they have to do is click the dropdown for states, then click on Kentucky and it will automatically bring up Fort Campbell,” said Patricia Raikes, chief of ID Cards-DEERS.
“Then they can click on the day they want to make an appointment and type in their name, information and click on the submit icon. The site also contains information about what documentation you need for specific ID cards. It’s really easy to use,” she said.
Raikes pointed out that everyone has to have a personal e-mail for the system to work because the web-scheduler is set up to send out a confirmation once the appointment has been accepted in the system.
“Appointments can only be made on-line now and they also have to be made a minimum of the day before,” Raikes added. “Appointments the day of cannot be accepted into the system.”
“Making an appointment is very important, especially for my retiree’s that drive two, three, maybe four hours to get here,” said Raikes.
“There also may be a civilian employee who needs a Common Access Card or CAC and has to get back to work quickly. Maybe there is a dependent who needs their Teslin card to go to the doctor,” said Raikes. “Either way, if they have an appointment through the web-scheduler, they can walk right in with no wait. We will have someone waiting on them.”
According to Raikes, one of the bigger frustrations for everyone in the DEERS office is when proper documentation is not presented for a particular person and they have to be denied and told to return another day.
“We wanted anything that can make our service better,” said Raikes. “If it helps someone to understand what documents they need to bring in and keep them from sitting here and waiting for two hours or being turned away because they forgot a particular document, that’s what we want.”
Raikes also said if someone needed to cancel, they could simply call her office to do so and then reschedule as they wish using the web-scheduler.
“I want everyone to know about this new web-scheduler, but I want them to know we still do a walk-in service, too,” said Raikes. “We have four stations that are for appointments and five are for walk-in’s.”
“The benefit is there is zero wait if you make an appointment on-line and a walk-in, right now, with all the proper documents, the wait is probably around 20 minutes before they are seen by us,” she said.
Raikes quipped that there is a temporary caveat in the 20-minute wait for walk-in’s, however.
Due to thousands of Soldiers returning from deployment soon, the window for a shorter walk-in wait is dwindling.
“I would like to encourage anyone who needs an ID card to come into this office now and not wait because we’ll start supporting our active duty Soldiers once they return from deployment,” said Raikes. “That process usually puts us at a 3 to 4 hour wait.”
Raikes said even though her office takes care of rear-detachment Soldiers all the time, they do not normally support active duty Soldiers. That process is most always done at the unit level.
However, returning from deployment isn’t “normal” times on post and to help smooth the transition, her office helps fill a great need for roughly a month after the Soldiers begin returning home.
“We’re going to be really busy when the Soldiers come back,” said Raikes. “We’re going to be jammed.”