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Updates To The Meal Card Management System

Provided by Army G-4 and Army G-1
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
What is it?

The Meal Card Management System, AR 600-38, provides policy and procedure for both
active Army and Reserve Components, for the management of meal card control books
(DD Form 714) and reimbursement for meals provided in a field environment. This
regulation provides procedures for verifying meal card entitlements and conducting annual
reviews of the Meal Card Management System.

What has the Army done?

Based on a 2013 Army Audit Agency recommendation, the Army is automating the Meal
Card Management System to improve accountability and auditability of the program.
Under the current system, Soldiers who live in the barracks are assigned a DD Form 714
(meal card) to eat in the dining facility (DFAC). To automate the meal card, the Army G-4
is using the existing Army Food Management Information System to run DFACs and has
created meal entitlement codes (MECs) software to interface with the chip on the
Common Access Card (CAC).

The Army began verification and validation testing in early February at Fort Gordon,
Georgia, and concluded with the Old Guard at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Virginia,
in March. The testing at both locations validated that the Army G-1 now has the ability to
write MECs to CACs. The Meal Entitlement Maintenance (MEM) system application will
be deployed at each of the identified and responsible personnel administration centers
throughout the Army and will promote immediate accountability and auditability of
entitlement changes in real time throughout the personnel community.

What continued efforts are planned for the future?

The Army G-4/G-1 will use feedback from the personnel administration centers.
Additionally, systems improvements will help enhance the MEC-to-CAC process for
credit card use and, eventually, payroll deduction as payment options, thereby reducing
the handling of cash at the dining facility.

The approved target date for Army-wide implementation is April 17, with a total rollout
projected for January 2018.

Why is this important to the Army?

The use of automated methods improves efficiency, accountability, and auditability of
Soldier meal entitlements for the Army.

The work that the Army has done to automate an aged paper system will pave the way
for future systems such as the Army G-1’s Implementation of the Integrated Personnel
and Pay System – Army.

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