[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                                     March 28, 2008

ARAP Next Generation addresses 
root cause of Army accidents

By Sam Reynolds, U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center

      FORT RUCKER, Ala. (March 18, 2008) -- In an effort to provide Army Readiness Assessment Program users increased navigation capability and functionality, the Army announces an updated version of ARAP, called ARAP Next Generation or Next Gen.

      For more than two years, the U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center (USACRC) compiled feedback and suggestions from ARAP users -- battalion commanders, Soldiers, Department of the Army Civilians and contractors -- on possible ways to improve the ARAP. Next Gen encompasses many of those recommendations.

      The USACRC developed ARAP in October 2005 to communicate the Army's conviction that Composite Risk Management is the best way to defend against accidental losses experienced in the Army. In February 2006, the Chief of Staff, Army, directed ARAP as a mandatory program for all battalion commanders, completed in conjunction with the Command Inspection Program.

      Designed as a battalion commander's tool addressing root causes of accidental loss by focusing on organizational safety climate and culture, ARAP is comprised of a 63-question online assessment, filled out by Soldiers anonymously, that captures unit posture on command and control, standards of performance, accountability and risk management.

      "The assessment highlighted the fact that our leaders were not providing command guidance down to the lowest levels," said an Armor battalion commander. "Many Soldiers indicated they were not provided intelligence updates and were not being briefed on current operations. That made us dig deeper to determine what else was not making it all the way down the chain and we implemented checks to ensure this was corrected."

      Once a battalion's assessment is complete, commanders receive one-on-one feedback in the key issues of command climate, safety culture, resource availability, workload, estimated success of certain safety intervention programs, and factors relating to the overall readiness of their unit.

      "Some of the improvements to ARAP are the incorporation of improved navigation and functionality, including multiple dropdown windows added to ARAP's registration process," said ARAP Team Chief Sam Reynolds. "Additionally, Next Gen provides quicker access to a battalion's summary and detailed roll-up reports, printable analysis charts and tables, and issues completion certificates."

      Brigade commanders and higher-level commanders are afforded the opportunity, with Next Gen, to receive a debriefing focusing on the aggregate data collected from all enrolled units in that command.

      An additional feature of Next Gen is automated e-mails generated to commanders informing them of their ARAP status.

      Soldiers and employees appreciate ARAP because it gives them freedom to share those issues and concerns that they believe are of utmost importance when dealing with safety issues, with their commanders, while providing anonymity.

      For more information on ARAP Next Gen or to enroll, visit https://unitready.army.mil.


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