The Afghan National Army Pay/Personnel Program Project

When I arrived in Afghanistan, I discovered that the US Army had implemented a Payroll and Personnel program for the Afghan National Army that had a lot of room for improvement. Unfortunately, I found that the real obstacle to improvement was not technical, but organizational.

I was amazed to find that after only 3 years in Afghanistan, the US Army is already so "institutionalized" that it is unable to implement change. I made several improvements to this program as an adjunct work while in Afghanistan. Many were officially adopted, others failed to overcome the "institutional inertia" of the US Army.

The program suffers from a bit of scizophrenia, in that the organizational heirarchy could not decide if it were to be a payroll program, a personnel program, or both. As such, it is a generally unsatisfactory hybrid.

Despite poor management, and little or no project scoping, the program works, and this is a testament to its creator Andrew Bates, its first revisor Ben Francis, and the many suggestions from those in "the field". Together they truly form what Andrew lovingly calls "The PMAMA Brotherhood".

The name "PMAMA" is an abbreviation for "Programme Malmute Ardui Millie Afghani", which translates from Persian to English as "Automation Program for the Afghan National Army".

Please note that this program is still *not* approved by TF Phoenix J-8. While it is under review, and may become approved, it is as yet not endorsed by J-8. For this reason, support may be inconsistent. While I will endeavor to answer all email sent me about this product, until it is officially endorsed by TF Phoenix, it may be pulled from beta-test at any time. Additionally, if TF Phoenix requests, it may be pulled from beta-test completely. If that happens, no more monthly "unlock codes" will be published, and the product will cease to function.

Remember, that although this is an enhanced product, it is nevertheless in beta-test. It is not an officially endorsed product, and has little or no customer support. So if you are not comfortable using a beta-test product, or not computer savvy, you should probably not try this product. If however, you do feel comfortable with it, I would enjoy receiving your input on it's design.

If you wish to no longer use this product, or if it is discontinued, follow the instructions below on how to migrate back to the old program.

NOTE: In response to request, the "unlock code" has been suspended in favor or a "time limited" version that will function for only 2 months. In this regard, if the project should be abandoned, all existing copies will automatically cease to function, and users should return to the original (Taz) version by following the instructions below.

To get the latest code build (build 39), - Click Here -

Save the file to your computer, unzip it, go into the folder named "pmamaInstall" and click on "pmamaInstall.bat". This will automatically install the build.

What's new in build 39:
Corrected missing/wrong dari translations throughout. Eliminated superflous reports.

What's new in build 38:
Corrected errors in the dari part of the MTOE. Prevented accidental opening of MTOE and Data files.

What's new in build 37:
Improved the layout of the attendance entry screen.

What's new in build 36:
Improved the attendance sheets so that they are easier to read and to fill out.

What's new in build 35:
Payments can now be sorted to match the order on the payroll certification sheet.
Checkboxes for convenience to allow the user to check each payment after he has verified it against thumbprints on the payroll certification form.

A calculator at the Payment Screen that will give totals of Afs paid, and soldiers paid for any particular date. This allows the pay program to be balanced against the finance documents more easily.

Added "information" section with the pay scale, and outline of pay procedures.

What's new in build 34:
A payment summary screen that allows easier tracing of pay problems. The screen appears on the "Member Update" screen. Key things to look for: missing months in "pay earned" which can be caused by missing attendance, soldier status of "transfer" or "drop", or missing soldier rank.

A payment summary report, which prints for each soldier in the kandak a page which lists the soldier's entire pay history. In one box is the history of pay earned, month by month, in the other box is the history of pay received, month by month. This allows easier pay resolution. This report is similar to the screen on the "Member Update" form mentioned above.

What's new in build 33:
A report for the J-8 of all soldiers needing ID cards. This can be used to request ID cards from the new J-8 ID card machine without having to type the list manually.

A "temporary ID card" which will expire in 3 months. Also, a "temporary ID card" for soldiers with no photo, which will expire in 3 months. This addresses the problem of missing ID cards caused by a combination of administrative delays, ID card backlog in the J-8, distance from Phoenix etc.

What's new in build 32:
The ability to change the passwords for the S-1 and S-8.

What's new in build 31:
Separation of functions for the S-1 and S-8 (finance/pay agent). Now they each have separate passwords, which give them access to separate parts of the program. This is a major step toward good fiscal practice, as it segregates functions.

What's new in build 30:
More dari throughout. Detected and fixed transliteration error that rendered "Excess" mtoe position to be translated in dari to "Not in Battalion".

What's new in build 29:
Added dari name, rank and title to ID cards. Now they can be read by afghanis.

What's new in build 28:
Added a "pay preview" report that prints in less pages, and does not crash when scrolling fast like the "payroll certification" does. This is useful for previewing the payroll, as well as printing and giving to Commanders for review.

What's new in build 27:
Certain fields in "update" and "member update" that were prone to accidental changes are "write protected" to eliminate data entry errors. A good example is that a soldier's service number is now protected from accidental changes.

What's new in build 26:
On all screens, the "close" button is changed to red, for easy identification by ANA S-1s who might be unfamiliar with computers.

Additional dari translations in all pages.

What's new in build 25:
Added a fix for soldiers Pay Entry Base Date (PEBD), which is called Time In Service Date (TIS) in the prior program. I noticed that many soldiers in the same KMTC class seemed to have different PEBD. This was because the PEBD had to be entered manually for each soldier. It was also subject to accidental erasure. I added a routine that automatically updates all soldier's PEBD based on their KMTC class.

What's new in build 24:
Added images at the base of the screen which shows the dari-keyboard mappings. In this way, users typing in dari/farsi who lack the appropriate keyboard (or key toppers) can see where each dari letter is.

What's new in build 23:
Added the ability to sort by name to attendance screens.

What's new in build 22:
Added the ability to print a Payroll Certification form for EID bonus.

Improved the layout of the Payroll Certification form.

What's new in build 21:
Added buttons at the bottom of rows in attendance form that sets an attendance code for that particular day for the entire kandak. Added buttons on the left of attendance form that sets one attendance code for the entire month for a particular soldier.

What's new in build 20:
Added a calculator to the Payments form that translates from USD to AFS or the reverse.

Improved the layout of the Payments screen. Fixed problem where AFS amounts had a dollar sign in front of it.

What's new in build 19:
Deleted GOBS of dead code.

What's new in build 18:
Converted queries/macros that had obscure names to standard "camelBack" notation.

Optimized many queries relating to reports and forms.

What's new in build 17:
Added a lot of color to areas like column headings etc.

Improved the overall look of all pages.

What's new in build 16:
Added the display of the dari-translation of MTOE positions to the selection box of the Member Update form.

Fixed the translation of attendance codes. Some had glaring errors.

What's new in build 15:
Removed confusing navigation menus. Installed contemporary tree-structure program flow.

What's new in build 14:
Fixed annoying pop-up errors when attempting to go from Member Roster to Member Update. Created new form for entering the service number of the desired soldier.

What's new in build 13:
Fixed annoying crash when exiting from the update screen.

What's new in build 12:
Changed hard to use underline links to command buttons.

What's new in build 11:
Removed reports that are never used.

What's new in build 10:
Added new command menu.

What's new in build 9:
Added the ability to run multiple kandak payrolls from one computer.

What's new in builds 1-8:
A bunch of optimizations and features but I cannot remember the order they came in.