In the 2000s, the Navy, along with other branches of the military, began to implement the digitization of tasks traditionally thought of as human resource processes. This brought about the birth of the Total Workforce Management System (TWMS), an online resource used to handle processes from command human resource operations to contract and manpower management.
The Navy TWMS online resource is not accessible for everyone. According to the Navy's technical support center, the TWMS systems are designed accomplish these among other functions: viewing employee data (current and historical), run reports, track details and TDY actions. However, in order to qualify for using the system, you must be a military contractor, a reservist, a foreign national employee or an appropriated or nonappropriated fund (NAF) civilian working in one of the naval branches.
Common Access Card
In order to access the Navy's TWMS website you need a Common Access Card (CAC). The CAC is an identity verification tool, a smart card, utilized by the U.S. Department of Defense with a computer chip, barcode and magnetic stripe. Once you begin working for the Navy, whether as a civilian employee, a contractor or on active duty, the Department of Defense will issue you a CAC. If you lose your CAC, contact your branch's technical support department to arrange the assignment of a new CAC.
Due to the open-source nature of Linux, there are no large corporations driving the mass publication of technical support documents or easily accessible technical support. The biggest problem that Linux users have with accessing the Navy TWMS is the inability to set up the CAC reader on their Linux system. The CoolKey project, started by contributing users to FedoraProject's various Linux support missions, aims at making the usage of CACs accessible to dedicated Linux users. The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) researched the CoolKey project, seeking ways to aid users from all backgrounds to access the TWMS system, no matter what computer they may be using. In 2006, NRL published a publicly accessible guide detailing every step necessary to fix the incompatibility issues present with Linux.
If you are using a Macintosh computer, the support for using CAC systems is very limited. The key lies in the usage of Mac's MUSCLE (Movement for the Use of Smartcards in a Linux Environment) project. Apple provides no official documentation detailing the necessary steps to setting this up. However, the Naval Postgraduate School published very useful documentation to help set up a CAC reader on a computer running the Mac OSX operating system.