A pair of lieutenants with an idea for an app to help division officers find information quickly to create a mobile app to help division officers find information quickly were stymied — until one of them played dwentfor a round of golf.
At the Army Navy Country Club in Arlington, Virginia, Lt. Charlie Hymen, 28, chancedhappened upon the chief of naval personnel, Vice Adm. Bill Moran. After an elevator pitch and a follow-up email, Hymen and , along with his partner in thproject Lt. John Harry, 27, were on their way to launching eDIVO, an app that debuts which launched March 9 on Google Play and iTunes.
Hymen, who is stationed at the Pentagon, approached Moran at the Army Navy Country Club in August with The app is a one-stop DIVO resource that stores pair's idea for an app that could work offline, and house Navy instructions and gouge on everything from writing and routing evaluations to navigation rules of the road for bridge watch standers.
Division officers Users can click on a number of frequently asked questions to quickly navigate to the relevant instructions relating to the many chores and qualifications that consumer most of their DIVO's time. most administrative tasks that occupy a huge amount of time for young DIVOs.
The original idea for eDIVO was to develop the app and sell it. But since the lieutenants are active duty, that idea was nixed. Next they pursued funding from the Navy. At every stop, they got encouragement — but no money.
Hymen even walked his idea to Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (AW/NAC) Mike Stevens, who said he liked it but didn't have money to pitch in. Then came the golf encounter in August, when Moran said he was on board. office in search of backing.
"One of the great things about working at the Pentagon is that people are around," Hymen said.
Hymen took the idea into MCPON Mike Stevens office, pitched it to his aid and within a few minutes he was sitting in front of Stevens, explaining their idea.
"We had a 30 minute meeting, and he was really excited about it," Hymen said. "Unfortunately they didn't have the money to help us out. But we had his support and blessing."
Moran said he was on board and told Hymen to shoot him a follow-up email.
"So we shot him and email with everything we had: what we wanted to do; the full development thus far; the idea; how we think we could roll it out, and so on," said Harry in a Feb. 26 interview. "And he was all for it.
"He put us in touch with some of his people. … They got funding though the My Navy portal, they connected us up with a technology company and we've been working hand-in-hand with the developers to put together e-DIVO, as we're calling it."
Harry, a supply officer, and Hymen, a surface warfare officer, served division officer tours together on the destroyer Kidd together and were both stationed in Washington, D.C., at the same time (Harry is at Naval Reactors).
But Moran had an idea of how to get the project guys money for their app through the PMW-240 office, a group inside CNP that manages software systems for manpower, personnel, training and education.
The app cost about $250,000 to develop and launch, Hymen said, and the two will be handling software updates and changes personally.
Look it up, DIVO
The impetus for the program iswould be? familiar to any junior sailor or officer for whom nine times out of 10, the answer to most any questions is, "look it up in the instruction."
"I remember wasting so much time as a junior officer, being asked a simple question from a certain chart I'd referenced half a dozen times before but didn't have it memorized," Hymen said. "So I'd have to go back and find it somewhere, and a computer was always being used. And for whatever reason, I couldn't immediately access it. This is designed to solve that."
The app, Harry added, was designed to puts the most commonly used instructions in one spot that's easily searchable place.
"All we've done here is go find everything that's published and make it available, most of it, offline," he said.
The app is geared towards surface warfare officers, Hymen said, but there is useful information on the app for any officer or chief that leads a division.
"One part in particular, the bridge watch team section, is geared towards SWOs," Harry said. "But the personnel management sections, the division management section, the emergency resources, are applicable to anyone in the Navy."
The app also boasts an off-line rules of the road quiz that officers and sailors can use to hone eep sharp on ?their navigation skills, as well as a page of links to emergency resources such as suicide hotlines and family services.
The app has the Navy's top SWO excited about the potential.
"This app is a great, updateable tool for our young officers and senior enlisted who are accustomed to, and frankly rely on, information being accessible at their fingertips," said Vice Adm. Tom Rowden, head of Naval Surface Forces, Pacific head in an email. "I look forward to fleet feedback on making it better and firmly believe it will allow young leaders to accomplish their daily jobs more efficiently so they can focus on our Number 1 priority, Warfighting First."
Harry and Hymen said one thing they learned from their experience getting eDIVO from an idea to a realized app in just over seven months is that when senior leaders say you can contact them, they mean it.
One tip, however, If you have a good idea, though, just make sure it's far enough along before you take it to the top of the chain of command.
"I don't know how many times I've heard at all-hands calls, senior leaders saying 'reach out, send me an email,' and we did," Harry said. "But we did it at a point where we had progressed far enough — three, four months of development, conception and long-term requirements, all that stuff."
David B. Larter was the naval warfare reporter for Defense News.