Last May, “Point-and-Click” profiled a Web site called
Maingate.com, which was designed to make life easier for military
nomads who were reassigned and relocated. There, service personnel
could search for potential housing opportunities, and they could
interact with others in the military community. Unfortunately, the
Web site has followed the same path as many other dot-coms and vanished,
without much publicity.
Try searching the Web for the Military Relocation and Information
Network, which spawned Maingate.com, today, and you’ll find
that site to be disabled. Go to www.maingate.com, and you’ll
automatically be redirected to www.afcrossroads.com, or Air Force
This site, tailored to the Air Force community, is one of the latest
military transitional tools that have emerged. Others include Miltary.com,
which was featured in the September 2000 edition; MilitaryMoves.com,
and the Defense Department’s official Web site for transitioning
service members, called DoD TransPortal, or www.dodtransportal.org.
Right now, it is not clear what type of success rate or lifespan
that these sites will have, or whether they will become the next
But nevertheless, sites such as these are cropping up all over,
with each of them claiming to be the ultimate cyber hangout for
Air Force Crossroads probably is the spiffiest of these sites.
This mainly is because the site is not bombarded with advertising
promos and links. The site was created and is maintained by Human
Resources Development Inc., whose Web developers even created a
nifty intro screen that flashes a mission objective.
Thankfully, the intro is optional, so users do not have to sit
through it every time they visit.
Once past the intro, users can click on the following portals:
Calendar of Events, Casualty & Loss, Communications Center,
DoD Installations, Education, Employment, Family Separation &
Readiness, Financial Information, Information Resource Center, Leisure
Activities, Medical & Dental, Parenting, Relocation, Related
Web sites, Spouse Network and Teens & Youth.
The site attempts to offer guidance for practically everything
involved in ensuring that a military relocation goes smoothly. And
though it mostly caters to the Air Force, it provides details about
military installations throughout the entire Defense Department.
Information about these installations is updated daily. The Web
site also recently opened some Air Force chat rooms.
MilitaryMoves.com, in February, signed an agreement with Long &
Foster Real Estate Inc.’s affinity marketing program, known
This partnership gives active-duty personnel and retirees access
to two Web sites: www.smartmove.com/militarymoves and MilitaryMoves.com.
The SMARTMOVE site allows users to enroll in a program that offers
real estate services and cash rebates.
“When a transfer is ordered, military families are confronted
with a host of logistical problems, not the least of which is finding
a new home for their family,” said Greg Uptagrafft, president
of MilitaryMoves.com. “Our focus is to create a one-stop site
where help can be found from people who understand these challenges
and can offer solutions.”
MilitaryMoves’ site displays links to a smorgasbord of transitional
information for military relocators, but it is overrun with advertisements
that are featured far more prominently than anything else the site
has to offer.
The advertisements mostly, however, are for housing communities,
and the good news about any advertising profits is that the site
donates 10 percent of its revenue to the military’s moral,
welfare and recreation programs.
The Defense Department’s own transitional Web tool specifically
is designed for those leaving active duty.
DoD Transportal offers links to careers in the corporate world.
Funny ... you always hear about private industry stealing active-duty
personnel away. Well, here’s a site that practically opens
Actually, the Defense Department already offers more than 200 transition
assistance offices throughout many of its installations worldwide.
This Web site is designed to bolster these offices’ efforts.
DoD Transportal acts as a guide to the Defense Department’s
Transition Assistance Program for active duty personnel and their
spouses. It informs them of benefits and services available to them
and their families. They can research locations and phone numbers
of transition offices and link to other defense-related sites. They
also can search for jobs and develop their resumes.
The site is different in scope and purpose compared to the other
transitional Web sites. It basically acts as a resource for outgoing
personnel, so that they know their options when they head off into
the civilian world.