It’s that time again. It’s that time where I, your helpful, retired Sailor, answer your questions thoughtfully with sensitivity, though not necessarily with accuracy.
Today’s question comes from Gary in Jacksonville, Florida. He asks: I’m heading up to Brunswick, Maine for training and they told me to take care of it using DTS. I have never used DTS and have no idea what I’m doing. Can you help me?
There are times in life where you just know that you can make a difference. That the stars aligned to put you in the right place at a time crucial time to solve a problem that only you can solve. That your particular experience and expertise has prepared you to intervene in a particular situation. This is not one of those times.
I’m sorry, Gary, but I can’t help you. I really wish I could, but despite numerous travels and TAD assignments, I have never figured out DTS. While I am sorry that I can’t help you, I can tell you that I am in good company. There are literally millions of people who can’t help you. In the entire Department of Defense there are a total of 10 people who understand DTS, and only five of them can actually use it.
I have actually met one them, although she made me promise not to reveal her name or her location in exchange for her assistance. It was amazing to watch her work. It was like meeting a superhero, or a unicorn, or a unicorn who was a superhero.
For those of you fortunate enough not to know what I’m talking about, DTS stands for Defense Travel System. It’s an online system used to coordinate official travel. You can create itineraries, purchase airline tickets, reserve lodging, draft orders, compare costs, and file for reimbursement. When I say “you can” I’m obviously not talking about you. Or even me. I simply mean that, in theory, this system is designed to accomplish this.
There are a few acronyms that simply strike fear in to the very soul of a United States Sailor. INSURV is one of them. So is I.G. But the worst is DTS. Hands down I would rather show up naked, to a spot check with the CO… without hazmat, than deal with DTS. First of all the spot check would be over faster. A lot faster. On the other hand you will be dealing with DTS until you die of old age.
Fortunately with only a little diligence and motivation you can figure out DTS. I’m only kidding. It take a lot more than a little diligence and motivation. It takes a LOT of diligence and a LOT of motivation and divine intervention.
Fortunately, again, DTS has provided training guides to assist you. Yes, you read that right, guides, as in more than one. As in five. There are five guides to help you figure out how to use DTS. You just know it’s good program when they write five guides to help you use the program. Compare that to civilian travel systems like Travelocity, which provide absolutely no training guides to help travelers use the program. Using basic math this means DTS is five times easier to use than Travelocity.
This is just another time that math has lied to you (another time was when it told you that there was a thing called imaginary numbers). DTS is not 5 times easier than anything. It is not even easier that building a nuclear bomb. If you make a mistake making a nuclear bomb your problems are over. Whereas if you make a mistake using DTS your problems will never be over. Years later you will be dealing with the government trying to recoup money that it never actually overpaid you.
So here’s where I offer you a simple solution to your problem. Just don’t go to Brunswick, Maine. It’s really cold (yes, even in the summer) and there’s nothing to do anyway. It’s a whole lot easier to go to the brig for refusing to obey an order than to try to figure out DTS (in fact, someone else will do all the paperwork for you). I’m glad I could help out.
If you have a question you’d like to ask just click this link and I guarantee an answer. I can also guarantee the answer’s accuracy (it won’t be).
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