The Paperless Navy.

For nearly as long as I've been in the Navy, I've heard many different folks from many different commands talking about the transition to the "paperless Navy". Goes without saying, but back in 2004 it seemed like more of a pipedream than anything else since the technology wasn't quite there, but... here we are in 2024.

And we've got all kinds of different options with how to remove paper from our processes.

But we... just... don't.

Most of it, I think, comes down to a massive case of "this is how we've always done it", which the military in general is extremely shitty with.

Tradition, even.

But it also goes without saying that there's never been a better time to do it from a data security standpoint: despite the fact that the DoDID was lauded as the de facto replacement for the social security number in our correspondence, it's failed to catch on.

Yes, there are the occasional places where you can choose to use either (and eNavFit uses the DoDID for the final evaluation), most cases end up falling back into use of the SSN instead. Because...

It's the way we've always done it.

Humans are clumsy. We're forgetful. We leave personal information sitting on desks, in unlocked cabinets, and in filing folders. With even the slightest inclination, someone with even the subtlest hint of raunchiness could go and pluck a document from nearly anywhere and sign up for a new loan or credit card in your name.

And of course there's the fact that administrative processes generally end up causing packages to be slow or even outright lost.