THE PENTAGON – In an effort to cut mounting travel costs across the military, the Pentagon announced it would rebrand the Defense Travel System as the Don’t Travel System.
During an initial pilot program started last year, the DoD rolled out a series of glitches in the DTS system to make travel more difficult. Officials targeted reserving flights, hotels, and completing travel vouchers to be the most difficult to tasks to complete, sources confirmed.
“We assumed if the system wouldn’t let you get a flight then you couldn’t travel,” said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Mark Richmond, a Pentagon spokesman. “Early on we focused on making it inconvenient as possible to best serve the needs of the customer, starting with glitches built into DTS. Then we ensured that Carson Wagonlit cut customer service staff so travelers would have to spend hours on hold. After that, we looked really hard at making a voucher as difficult to fill out as possible.”
Beyond making reservations difficult, Pentagon officials reasoned that if soldiers weren’t getting paid for travel it would not only save costs on that particular voucher, but it would also prevent soldiers from wanting to travel in the future.
“It was a real win-win for us,” Richmond said. “We also made up the thing about no one being able to go to conferences which worked for a while. But then they just changed the name of conference to ‘in person meeting’ or something. We managed to make it even that more difficult by ensuring there was an obscure sub-menu text box included some nonsense about a teleconference not being sufficient."
He added: "Nobody can ever figure out where that goes and their travel just gets cancelled. Genius!”
Developers were unsure of where they could continue to improve the system.
“Military folks still keep trying to go TDY,” one DTS software developer told reporters. "They seem to think they are actually getting work done when they travel or maybe they just hate their families. Either way, we haven’t stopped all of them yet.”