WASHINGTON — As the Information Age continues to shape modern communication, the Defense Department has revitalized and consolidated the Military OneSource website to better serve military members and their families, a Pentagon official said in a recent interview.
Zona Lewis, military community outreach online and resource operations manager, told the Pentagon Channel and American Forces Press Service that the Military OneSource overhaul incorporates new functionalities, enhanced social media platforms and multiple access methods.
“We took this opportunity to look at industry best practices, to look at social media capabilities and to investigate making a mobile platform,” Lewis said. “People are accessing information on their phones and iPads today. They’re not waiting until they get home or back to the office to get that information on a computer.”
The revamping, Lewis said, comes at the behest of President Barack Obama, who sought an overall reduction of government websites, prompting DOD officials to have Military OneSource absorb MilitaryHomefront.
“We looked for commonalities to merge the sites,” Lewis explained. “Though MilitaryHomefront had a service and family member component, it was … geared toward leadership and service providers [seeking] family programs, policy and reports.”
Officials therefore transferred the leadership and service provider information from soon-to-be retired MilitaryHomefront to the Military OneSource umbrella, Lewis said.
“We … met the expectations we had for the site. We wanted the content to be easy to find, [with] the website easy to use,” Lewis said, adding that user-driven content enables more customizable information.
“You can see what other people are looking for and see if they’re [seeking] the same thing,” Lewis said, adding the social media aspect of the site enables users to “retweet,” “like” and share mobile- and tablet-friendly information through personal networks.
Lewis noted the particular usefulness of the locator and directory widgets, which enable users to type in their installation and instantly connect to local resources and relocation assistance.
Military OneSource also provides round-the-clock consultants available worldwide to assist with family life topics ranging from moving to nonmedical counseling referral, including anger management and communication skills.
“Military OneSource offers 12 nonmedical counseling sessions per issue per person in your family at no cost,” Lewis said.
“[This] is your quality of life program so call, click and connect. We’re there for you.”