MARIETTA, Ga. - Meet Warrant Officer Brian Sexton, Georgia Army National Guard systems integration branch (SIB) chief. He is being recognized as an Integrated Personnel and Pay System-Army (IPPS-A) Best of the Best Soldier for leading the team from Georgia successfully through the conversion from the Standard Installation and Division Personnel Reporting System (SIDPERS) to IPPS-A.

Sexton has been the GAARNG's SIB chief for 18 months. He said he and his team began their migration by using lessons learned from other states and seeing the results of those lessons

"We started with permanent assignments; making sure all of our Soldiers got permanent assignments," said Sexton. "We would make sure all the data elements lined up, ran the scripts and if it didn't work we would start back over and do it again. We basically tested and proved theories until all our Soldiers were correct."

Sexton said the biggest challenge he and his team faced was the re-slots assignment, which was the temporary assignments within IPPS-A. A difference in the use of language is what made the re-slots challenging, said Sexton.

"The explanations of certain processes prior to cutover can be difficult to understand for someone using the system for the first time," said Sexton. "So, when we reviewed several rosters prior to cutover, understanding all of them was a challenge."

Despite challenges, Sexton is proud of his team completing the migration. Their satisfaction culminated when Georgia went live with IPPS-A and completed their first transaction.

"All the hard work gives you a certain expectation," said Sexton. "So, when you complete the first transaction in IPPS-A, you feel like you know what you're doing. This is day one and everyone is ready. That makes me proud." said Connelly.

Now that Georgia is live in the system, Sexton says moving forward he is excited that Soldiers are now able to influence how quickly their Human Resources actions are completed.

"I'm extremely excited because for the first time in our career Soldiers will have their records in our hands," said Sexton. "I joined the military as an Infantry Soldier. Nothing frustrates me more when than when a 42A looks at you like you're crazy when you fill out a document wrong or I wanted to update my records. I am excited Soldiers will now have some sort of control over their HR stuff."