Science and Technology News

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

National Resource Directory Goes Mobile

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 25, 2011 – An easy-to-navigate version of the National Resource Directory website -- which connects wounded warriors, service members, veterans and families with those who support them -- now is available for mobile phones.

With more than 3,000 new users each day searching for information on the site, it makes sense to have a mobile version, said John R. Campbell, deputy assistant secretary of defense for wounded warrior care and transition.

In a recent interview with American Forces Press Service and the Pentagon Channel, Campbell explained that developing the mobile version of the site was an important step in reaching out to younger generations of wounded warriors, service members transitioning out of the military, and their families.

“They are looking for more efficient ways to gather information, and with this explosion of applications on smartphones, it was kind of a no-brainer that we needed to put a mobile version out there,” Campbell said. “Everything we’re trying to do now is geared toward younger servicemen and women applying digital media -– the platform they want to use.”

The website came online in late 2009. Since October, use has grown from around 40,000 each month to 90,000, Campbell said. It is geared toward wounded warriors and transitioning service members, offering nearly 14,000 resources and services to help their move into civilian life.

“The site is being used a lot more than ever, because the information that’s on there is so valuable,” he said.

Users can find tips for writing a resume, techniques to prepare for job interviews, information on veterans’ benefits and compensation and family caregiver support, to name just a few of the services available on the website. Information is searchable by topic audience -- service member, veteran, family member or service provider -- and location.

Users also can sign up for online webinars taught by volunteer professionals, Campbell said.

The website “gives our servicemen and women and their families, we think, a tremendous amount of information from local, state, from federal government and other agencies on not-for-profit corporations,” Campbell said. “It really gives them a wonderful way to find information that they need, that they can search for a number of different ways.”

And now, with the launch of the mobile version, users have an easier-to-navigate version of the site in the palm of their hands anywhere they have mobile reception, he said.

“The mobile version is really the same information, [but] if you were to look at the browser on your phone, you’d see what you see on your [computer] screen,” Campbell said. “But you would only see a small part of it, because the screen is much smaller [on a mobile device].”

The mobile version is not a separate application, Campbell stressed. Users still have to go to the directory website at from their mobile device. Once the site loads, they can scroll to the bottom of the page and click the link “NRD mobile” for the mobile version.

The mobile version condenses all of the information on the standard website into five links, and is easier to view and access on a mobile device, Campbell explained.

“This will enable you to get to whatever information -- the 13,000 services that are represented -- with just a couple of clicks,” he said. “Whatever you’re looking for -- information on employment, benefits, information on finances -- whatever you need.”

Information and services on the website are screened and thoroughly reviewed by the Defense Department in collaboration with the departments of Veterans Affairs and Labor, Campbell said.

“This is just one of the number of things in the [Defense] Department to make it easier and more meaningful for wounded warriors and transitioning servicemembers and their families,” he added.

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