By U.S. Army Human Resources Command Public Affairs
The Army Reserve – Soldier Assignment Profile is now open to all AGR officers conducting a PCS during the 22-01 distribution cycle from October 2021 to March 2022. Brig. Gen. Kris Belanger, deputy commanding general, U.S. Army Human Resources Command, and director, Reserve Personnel Management Directorate, in coordination with the HRC’s commanding general, approved the talent management platform following the completion of a January pilot program.
HRC public affairs sat down with Maj. Justin Belford and Maj. Anthony Smith, talent managers for RPMD, to discuss the details of AR-SAP, how it works, and how it will benefit the AGR population of 3500 Officers.
Q. What is AR-SAP? Is it a talent management marketplace for AGR Soldiers?
A. AR-SAP is not a marketplace. It is an intake tool to train Soldiers on how to use automation in advance of the release of Integrated Personnel and Pay System-Army in December 2021.
AR-SAP is not a marketplace. The AR-SAP provides AGR Soldiers the ability to communicate and highlight relevant information about upcoming Permanent Change of Station movement concerns on a digital platform that is more detailed and more efficient than the standard, constrained DA 4187 process. AR-SAP provides Soldiers the opportunity to self-profess their knowledge, skills, behaviors, and preferences - a feature that will be available in IPPS-A.
Under the AR-SAP system, Soldiers can expand on KSBs not covered in their Soldier Record Briefs or highlight areas that are not easily identifiable in their professional file. Talent managers will use this information, in addition to the traditional information that they have relied on in the past, to develop a multi-layered understanding of each Soldier and their family in an effort to find the right Soldier for the right position at the right time. The AR-SAP takes a people-first approach and acknowledges that people are our No. 1 priority.
Q. Is AR-SAP only open to officers?
A. Initially. AR-SAP is being rolled out to only the officer and warrant officer populations for the 22-01 distribution cycle, with movements occurring between October 2021 and March 2022. Once AR-SAP's success is validated, it may expand to include all AGR Soldiers.
Q. Does AR-SAP operate like AIM?
A. AR-SAP does not operate like AIM. It shares similarities in the KSB domain, meaning that officers can self-profess their KSBs to inform assignment decisions. It does not include a position marketplace like AIM. For that reason, Soldiers will not be able to communicate with commanders of units. Soldiers are able to practice developing their KSBs, which they will import in the future IPPS-A marketplace platform.
Q. How is this method of talent management different than how Soldiers were assigned to positions in the past?
A. The AR-SAP integrates talent management initiatives outlined in the Army People Strategy 2019, which acknowledges that people are the Army's No. 1 priority. First, the AR-SAP consolidates assignment consideration information into an easy to use automated platform. Second, it captures the diverse array of talent that exists through the self-professing of KSBs, which can influence the slating process as talent managers align Soldier strengths to requirements. This did not exist in the past as talent managers traditionally relied only on information located in the officer's official record.
Q. How and why is this method better?
A. Soldiers using the AR-SAP can now expand on areas not covered in their record brief and the old DA 4187 process, and can also highlight areas that are not easily identifiable, but make them unique. The AR-SAP method creates conditions that lead to better outcomes for Soldiers and Families compared to past reassignment practices.
AR-SAP allows talent managers to identify the diversity in talent that exists and apply it across various positions. In addition, AR-SAP uses concepts found within the strength-based talent management theory, which allows talent managers to consider Soldier strengths when slating officers to positions. The result is a refined process to find the right Soldier for the right position at the right time. Studies show that aligning strengths to assignments improves organizational and individual performance and increases Soldier satisfaction.
Additionally, implementation of the AR-SAP will save each talent manager approximately 80 work hours per year in data transfer, validation, and analysis. The tool limits the potential for data transition errors and allows more time for talent managers to perform detailed analysis of their population.
Q. Describe how AR-SAP is a training tool in advance of IPPS-A.
A. IPPS-A is the Army system of record program aimed at consolidating multi-component payroll and HR functions into one system. One of the features within IPPS-A will include talent management and reassignment processes.
AR-SAP introduces Soldiers to the KSB self-professing process. Soldiers can now market their skill sets to assignment talent managers, and talent managers can align those skills to positions. In IPPS-A, Soldiers will build their professional profile, or resume, which will also include KSBs. AR-SAP should sunset once we confirm that the capability to retrieve the same information is available in IPPS-A.
Q. You said AR-SAP is currently a talent management system that allows RPMD to gain multi-layered information about Soldiers. Explain what you're talking about. What kind of information, and how does this help the Soldier?
A. For the talent manager, AR-SAP allows for an efficient collection of Soldier data and prompts Soldiers to better communicate unique PCS considerations that may otherwise be unknown. Traditionally, talent managers had access to only basic information found in a Soldier's official file. In contrast, AR-SAP's self-professed information and self-assessment captures untapped areas valuable to the Army. Talent managers then use this information by applying a multi-layered assessment approach using existing information, self-professed KSBs, and unique Soldier strengths during slating. This process promotes a more professional, targeted, and proactive approach to career management.
Q. You mentioned that AR-SAP will serve as a rehearsal tool to help Soldiers sell their skills in the system and help prepare them for when IPPS-A fully rolls out, explain.
A. Yes, that's exactly right. AR-SAP is a web based product that provides AGR Soldiers with the capability to rehearse the import of KSBs into an automated platform. It enables Soldiers to think more critically about their individual KSBs, articulate their hard and soft skills, and refine the concept of what makes them unique.
The greatest benefit of AR-SAP is that it formalizes the requirement for the Soldier to better understand their individual KSBs and develop their professional resume. AR-SAP provides the Soldier an example of how the Army Talent Management Task Force defines each KSB and further provides examples of how to articulate those in an effective way. Soldiers can save the information they build today to import into IPPS-A for the future.
Q. Once the marketplaces are open in IPPS-A, will AGR Soldiers be able to communicate with potential commanders.
A. Yes, IPPS-A is developing a feature that will allow AGR Soldiers and units to interface during the reassignment process.
Q. How will the AGR marketplace in IPPS-A be different from that of the other Army components?
A. Once the IPPS-A marketplace launches, we will assess how the structured market might differ slightly from one component to another. We know that IPPS-A is advertised to deliver a marketplace function that allows Soldiers and units to interact and network to increase Soldier, unit, and Family satisfaction. Soldiers will be able to see positions that are available to them during their assigned distribution cycle. The Army Reserve is uniquely different in that we assign officers directly to positions by paragraph and line number.
Q. Will AR-SAP go away when IPPS-A is fully implemented? Why or why not? If not, what role will it then serve?
A. Like AIM 2.0, AR-SAP is not the final product, but rather a first step toward the Army's integration into IPPS-A, the Army's future talent management system. IPPS-A will incorporate a marketplace function that allows Soldiers and units to interface, providing Soldiers and commanders greater influence and transparency in the reassignment process. AR-SAP should sunset once we confirm that the capability to retrieve the same information is available in IPPS-A.
Q. How many times a year will AR-SAP be open for Soldiers to provide input, and for what length of time?
A. AR-SAP will be active twice; once during the winter 22-01 PCS cycle and again during the summer 22-02 PCS cycle. Soldiers approved for movement during these cycles will receive a link by their respective talent manager during the movement notification process. Talent managers determine the window of submission and provide that timeline upon notification that the Soldier’s AR-SAP is open. Once IPPS-A is live and we have validated its capability for marketplace management, we should see future correspondence for the 23-01 movement cycle happen within IPPS-A.
Q. Will Soldiers know how to use the system? Are there tutorials?
A. It's generally intuitive to operate; however, it comes with instructions and cues that help Soldiers navigate the development of their profiles.