By Ms. Elyssa Vondra (Fort Jackson)August 30, 2018
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- The Army is modernizing how Soldiers handle personnel and payment matters. It is going increasingly digital and is integrating its systems into a paperless world. The Integrated Personnel and Pay System-Army -- otherwise known as IPPS-A -- is making this change possible.
Col. Michael McTigue, Adjutant General School commandant and Col. Daryl Morse, TRADOC capabilities manager/Human Resources are leading the implementation here at Fort Jackson. A group in Washington D.C., is overseeing the worldwide development and rollout of the program. The colonels are acting as buffers between the Army as a whole and the Adjutant General schoolhouse here on post.
With IPPS-A, active-duty, Army National Guard and Army Reserve members will all be able to use the same online system for personnel and payment requests. Each component currently has its own.
"We're now all going to be seeing the same picture," McTigue said.
"One Soldier, one record, one Army" is the goal, Morse said. IPPS-A will increase collaboration to prevent loss of records when switching Soldier status.
It will reduce human error that can occur with paper requests. Everything will soon be handled electronically. There will be more accountability and audibility for any issues that do arise.
More than 2,400 hours' worth of curriculum lesson plans for the Adju School are being modified to make the transition as seamless as possible.
IPPS-A will bring more than 30 Legacy Systems "under one umbrella," Morse said. "We have to come into the 21st century" from the industrial age, he added.
This massive change isn't coming overnight. It has been about six years in the making. The Army will be one of the last DOD forces to move toward the digital realm, Morse said. Once it gets there, though, it will be "leaps and bounds ahead" of the others. McTigue says the Army has taken longer because of the "challenge of scale."
The Army is adapting software used by a number of Fortune 500 companies to streamline the personnel processes to increase efficiency across the nation's largest military service.
The modification should bring a greater level of efficiency, accuracy, audibility and transparency into the human resources realm of the Army, McTigue and Morse said.
Once unveiled here, Fort Jackson Soldiers will be able to use their IPPS-A dashboards to file payment and personnel matters that formerly would have required additional steps.
Filing for time off is one example. Instead of submitting a handwritten leave form to S1, they will just log onto their account, complete the form electronically and hit "send."
The dashboard can be accessed anywhere from any computer or phone. "(Soldiers) could be out in a field environment" while they're requesting time off for an upcoming absence, Morse said. They could even be in their homes.
"This is very much personal computer-based," Morse said. Payment actions and promotion-related requests can all be completed within the system. It will simplify the process for National Guard and Army Reserve members to determine when they're scheduled to work; the information will be available online.
"This is a humongous change," Morse said.
Soldiers will undergo online training to learn how to use it.
To inform members of the Fort Jackson community, a number of monthly meetings will be held. For those stationed at Fort Jackson, the first informational town hall is scheduled for Sept. 20 at 11:45 a.m. in the Soldier Support Institute Auditorium. These meetings will provide IPPS-A updates and will offer additional information on its functionality.