NEWS | Aug. 26, 2021

Ground Vehicles: QR Codes for PMCS Not TACOM-Endorsed

QR Codes Not Endorsed for PMCS
Dear Half-Mast,

I work on a Command Maintenance Evaluation/Maintenance Assistance Instruction (COMET/MAIT) team and keep seeing quick response (QR) codes used to access the PMCS tables of a vehicle’s TMs.

My problem is, I can't find any official policy guidance for using these codes. Is there a message or directive that tells units not to use QR codes in vehicles for PMCS or to replace TMs? 

Mr. A.B.   

Dear Mr. A.B.,   
The use of QR codes to access PMCS tables on smart phones and devices is fairly new. There’s no official policy governing its acceptability or use.  I reached out to the Technical Publications Group at TACOM to get their perspective, and here’s what they had to say:   

While we applaud the ingenuity of Soldier’s efforts to overcome challenges related to the availability of technical equipment publications, TACOM neither condones nor supports the QR codes approach. 

Units should not be using a QR scanning system to access excerpted pages of DA-authenticated technical manuals. Using QR codes is not DA-sanctioned, and there is no current plan to authorize this grassroots effort to performing PMCS.

The primary challenge with this approach is that some TMs are not open-source documents. Restricted distribution statements require them to remain behind the CAC firewall. According to Para 4-9 of DA PAM 25-40, Army Publishing Program Procedures, LDAC’s ETM/IETM website is the only approved online repository for TMs. Also, Para 6-3.k of DA PAM 25-40 says “operator manuals accompany the equipment when it is issued to the end user and are listed in the BII list."