Marietta, GA. - Five members of 3rd Infantry Division participated in Integrated Personnel and Pay System- Army (IPPS-A) training with the Georgia Army National Guard November 4-5, 2019.
IPPS-A is the Army's new 21st Century human resources system, and is currently live in 20 of the 54 U.S. states and territories. The GAARNG is one of the newest states to go live in IPPS-A, having gone live with the system November 18, 2019.
Sgt. 1st Class Patricia Anderson, Maj. Estella Barrios, Maj. Asoh Chinyere, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Ericka Burton and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Iris Latoya represented 3rd ID at the training, which covered Human Resources fundamentals and functions like understanding workflow within the system, and processing a personnel action request (PAR). Understanding how the Guard and Reserve operate their HR system and their procedures for various HR actions will help close the gap between their components and the Active component, according to several members of 3rd ID.
"By understanding their processes, we can better serve them when we are working together," said Maj. Estela Barrios, 3rd ID S-1. "IPPS-A will close that gap because the same way we process active duty personnel actions, we can now execute for the National Guard or Reserve personnel."
Barrios was deployed to Kuwait in 2016 and said it was frustrating not being able to help Guard and Reserve Soldiers with simple HR tasks.
"Active duty professionals had limited HR system capability and couldn't provide customer service for them," said Barrios. "They needed to go to their own HR professionals to get assistance. Sometimes, they had to wait weeks to get assistance on a simple personnel action."
Other functions of IPPS-A covered during the training included routing actions and building groups. Anderson said the practical exercises they did included routing leave forms and seeing how the Guard pulls promotion rosters at various points of the fiscal year.
Anderson said she's pleased that IPPS-A streamlines transactions by centralizing HR functions in one system.
"You can do every HR task in one system, and you can see who the task is currently with," said Anderson. "You can track the task's progress, which should help with efficiency."
Less paperwork is another potential benefit of IPPS-A that Anderson sees. She said IPPS-A should also cut down on the amount of Soldiers who reach out to their S-1 when they need assistance with an HR task because of the IPPS-A app, which allows Soldiers to submit HR forms via their cell phones.
"Soldiers always come to S-1 when they need updates," said Anderson. "Being able to do that on their phone will definitely lighten our workload."
The 3rd ID Soldiers are happy they received exposure to IPPS-A and have an understanding of what to expect when the system goes live for the active component. Closing the gap between the three Army components will be the biggest plus of the system, according to Barrios.
"IPPS-A is bringing us closer, and we all should be able to assist each other better," said Barrios. "One HR system for all!"