NEWS | April 27, 2021

IPPS-A’s Real-time Capabilities coming to Army Reserve in December

By IPPS-A Change Management Team IPPS-A Change Management Team

The U.S. Army Reserve’s current one-stop shop human resources (HR) system for personnel information is the Commander’s Strength Management Module (CSMM). While the system contains over 10,000 metrics focusing on strength such as attrition, vacancy and resource management information, it relies on pulling data from a number of systems creating a delay in updating Soldier’s records.

The Integrated Personnel and Pay System - Army (IPPS-A) replaces CSMM when the system goes live for the U.S. Army Reserve (USAR) in December. IPPS-A is the number one HR modernization effort for the Army. IPPS-A’s use of modern HR and pay software ensures workflow in the system is routed through defined and approved processes, which will fix delayed record updates.   

“CSMM is a repository that captures data from other systems, like Army Training Requirements and Resource System (ATRRS) and the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS), to update its information,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Kristina Prince, IPPS-A Data Correctness Campaign Liaison. “With IPPS-A, if I want to update a Soldier’s record I just submit a personnel action request (PAR), and once it’s approved that Soldier’s record is updated.”

As the Army Reserve gets closer to its IPPS-A go live date, Prince wants Soldiers to complete individual Soldier checks. These checks consist of Soldiers reviewing current personnel records online from Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC), ATRRS and the Electronic Military Personnel Office (eMILPO). It is important for Soldiers to update their personnel records now because the brownout period begins the first week in December.

Brownout is a part of the cutover process, which is a three-week event. During brownout, inbound and outbound transactions of legacy systems are shutoff while data in those systems is transferred to IPPS-A. Notable systems that will be offline during this period are eMILPO, the Regional Level Application Software (RLAS), and the Total Officer Personnel Management and Information System (TOPMIS II).

“When IPPS-A goes live, Soldier records need to be in the right place,” said Lt. Col. John Elko, IPPS-A Training and Deployment Team, Deployment Lead. “We don’t want Soldiers to experience negative impacts in HR processes because their data isn’t accurate.”

With most USAR Soldiers conducting Battle Assembly virtually, options for meeting with records managers are limited. However, Prince said Soldiers can schedule an in-person meeting with their records managers or email them the documents for records they need updated.

IPPS-A’s ability to complete real-time actions upon request and instantaneously update Soldier data is an improvement Prince is looking forward to. Two common administrative actions Soldiers can complete in real-time in IPPS-A are last name and rank changes.  

Currently, name changes involve DEERS and eMILPO. The process includes updating DD Form 93, the Service Members' Group Life Insurance (SGLI) and submitting DA Form 4187. Once the forms are approved, Soldiers go back to the DEERS office to receive their new identification card.  

For promotions, the process involves RLAS and the Total Army Personnel Database – Reserve (TAPDB-R). A promotion order is cut in RLAS, and then goes over to TAPDB-R before updating in CSMM. It must also be added to Interactive Personnel Electronic Records Management System (iPERMS) in a separate action and then that order is sent to finance to update the pay system. Sometimes a Soldier’s pay update for that new rank is delayed.

The process is faster and more efficient in IPPS-A.

“For a name change, you submit a PAR and once it’s approved, you go to DEERS for the new ID card, and the Soldier’s name is changed,” said Prince. “For a promotion, as soon as the order is cut, the promotion takes effect. It’s pretty easy.”

Prince wants Soldiers to take advantage of the training options available, so they’re as familiar as possible with IPPS-A by December. Soldiers can find training and resources on data correctness at https://ipps-a.army.mil/usar-data/.

“Soldiers have to start preparing now,” said Prince. “If they don’t, as soon as IPPS-A goes live they’re going to have a lot of questions.”