Paying the front line

The Canadian Forces’ HRMS system ensures privates and generals from Canada to Afghanistan are paid on time and correctly
By Todd Humber
|CHRR, Guide to Payroll|Last Updated: 09/11/2003

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t’s 3 a.m. at the Department of National Defence headquarters in Ottawa. The military’s HRMS system springs into action as data arrives, beamed in from a tent half-a-world away. A lieutenant in the Canadian military on a mission in Kabul has been promoted to the rank of captain at 11:30 a.m. Afghanistan time. An operator in a nearby tent keys the woman’s new rank into the system and that information is sent via satellite to the military’s HRMS in Ottawa.

The next time the military runs payroll, the captain can be confident her pay will include the raise that comes with the rank. It’s all part of the unique payroll world of the Canadian military, an organization with payroll needs far removed from those of most in the private sector.