News: New post office computers aid Marines, civilians
Story by Pfc. Sullivan Laramie
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - Clerks at the post offices aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., exchanged their old computers for newer ones during a trial period, which started at the end of 2012.
The Camp Lejeune post offices traded integrated retail terminals, or IRTs, which were nearing 30 years of employment and still using floppy disks, for the new point of sale, or POS, terminals. They will improve efficiency and are new to the military.
Clerks previously had to manually search in a large directory for things like shipping restrictions and global post office addresses, while the new system automatically fills out required forms.
When a destination is selected, the POS terminal displays what cannot be shipped to that location.
“The new system has all the information on it,” said Lance Cpl. Aaron W. Rugg, a Connellsville, Pa., native and postal clerk with Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group. “It’s simpler than the IRTs. It tells you what you have to do, and does the math for payments so you don’t spend time counting. The IRTs also crashed if dirt got inside.”
Currently, Camp Lejeune is the only military installation that uses the POS terminals, said Sgt. Krista U. Jones, a postal clerk with CLR-27.
“[The POS terminals are] high-tech postal equipment that civilians have used and adopted,” said Jones, a Fayetteville, N.C., native. “We’re testing it right now to see if it’s a good upgrade for the military to start utilizing not just in this location, but all around the world.”
In addition, Marines now work alongside civilians in the financial section of the Camp Lejeune post offices, which is another first for the Marine Corps in the U.S.
This change started Dec. 5, 2012, the same day the Marine Corps went live with the new equipment.
“We’ve had a couple of issues where the equipment doesn’t function how it’s supposed to, but there are technicians and a help desk to assist us with troubleshooting,” Jones said. “It’s just click, reboot and it’s fixed. We haven’t had any major issues with it.”
The trial will be over in March, when the POS terminals are scheduled to appear at other military installations.