“I need you to update your personnel records,” said Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael Grinston. The Army’s top enlisted advisor recently reached out to the entire Army force, alerting Soldiers to a new human resources and pay system expected to go live Dec. 21.
Called the Integrated Personnel and Pay System – Army, the system is expected to revolutionize personnel and pay actions for all Soldiers.
“These innovative capabilities will bring Army HR into the 21st century,” wrote Grinston to the force, “but we need your help to ensure the system’s success in December.”
IPPS-A first came on the scene with the Army National Guard in January 2019. The system was intended to be a modern, digital way to accomplish human resources missions. Two-and-a-half years later, IPPS-A is prepared to reach the hands of active duty and Reserve component Soldiers, as well. The goal remains the same.
“IPPS-A will modernize Army human resources, support the Talent Management infrastructure, and make personnel transactions transparent and mobile,” said Army officials. “The new pay system is light years ahead of the legacy systems, and is able to communicate with supporting personnel systems.
"Soldiers will have the ability to securely make personnel, talent management, and pay changes from a cell phone.”
Prior to the release of IPPS-A, Soldiers needing to update records or create pay and personnel actions have had to generate paper-driven transactions at unit S1 or installation personnel offices. One of the issues with the old way of doing business involves the sheer number of them — about 200 human resources and pay systems and over 650 interface and data exchanges between internal and external systems.
According to the Army, the manual transactions are by nature not fully auditable, cyber or information-assurance compliant, nor do they allow for easy tracking of knowledge, skills or behaviors of Soldiers within the three Army components.
The ushering of IPPS-A’s Release 3, however, is expected to close all those gaps and put the power of tracking human resource actions into the hands of individual Soldiers.
“This change is innovative and very necessary,” said Army officials. “With more than 1.1 million users on a system with capabilities that are able to expand with time, IPPS-A is becoming the new Army pay system and is revolutionizing Army pay and personnel for the future.”
One member of the IPPS-A team said on Jan. 7 that the testing phase for Release 2 helped them lead to its successful implementation, which also allowed them to usher in Release 3.
“We started with Pennsylvania. We cut their data over, so everything they were doing had real live impacts,” said Maj. Leonard Baklarz, the Release 2 lead. “It was not a canned situation event. The data was real.”
Part of the implementation of Release 3 is a downloadable device app that puts the power of human resources directly into the hands of Soldiers. Soldiers can visit the IPPS-A’s mobile website at to learn more.
At the site, Apple users are provided a link to the app in the Apple Store. Android users can visit the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command’s secure App Gateway to access that app download.
“Soldiers will have access to their own personal information 24 hours a day and mobile self-service capabilities,” said Army officials. “IPPS-A’s ability to combine personnel and pay functions [e.g., a promotion or call to active duty] will address current inefficiencies caused by complex interfaces among +30 ‘stove-piped’ HR systems.”
The IPPS-A website also offers up-to-date information on all new releases and upgrades, including their functionalities and capabilities.
Army officials said that while unit personnel offices will still be involved in personnel actions, IPPS-A puts the onus on Soldiers to ensure their records are accurate, before and after all IPPS-A information is migrated.
“The most authoritative source of correct [human resource] data,” said Army officials, “is the individual Soldier.”