Members of the U.S. military and their loved ones should have an easier time acquiring identification cards, according to a published report.
The American Forces Press Service reports the Defense Manpower Data Center has unveiled Real-time Automated Personnel Identification System, which is a self-service method of permitting members of the service and the reserves who are equipped with a common access card to apply for identification cards.
More colloquially known as RAPIDS, the program also allows for easy updates to online status of dependents.
As many as 3.7 million members of the service are eligible to use the new program, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.
"The idea is to try to make life easier for our military members, their families and for veterans," director Mary Dixon with RAPIDS told reporters during a conference call. She said the center "has been working for some time now to try to improve and transform our whole ID card application process so people can do things online and not spend long hours going to a site and waiting to be seen."
She said some people have greatly suffered while waiting in line to get identification cards.
Prior to the new program, members of the service, retirees and their families had no choice but to go to a Defense Manpower Data Center together to solicit an application form.
They then had to patiently wait during construction of the identification card.
"This is big project," the director said. "It takes away time from your work, and if you are separated - maybe the spouse is out on a ship or on deployment or your child is away at college - it makes it a huge problem."
A military identification card helps people get on base, enter the commissary, access child care and get healthcare, according to military.com.