The U.S. Army is transforming personnel management from an industrial age personnel system to a 21st-century system of managing talent to enable readiness to support large-scale combat operations. The Integrated Personnel and Pay System–Army (IPPS-A) will replace legacy practices of personnel management and systems, allowing better talent management of Soldiers with the right knowledge, skills, behaviors, and preferences (KSB-P) to be effective on the battlefield now while also looking to the future and modernization. Active-duty officers and warrant officers have transitioned to receiving their next assignment through a marketplace operationalized by the Assignment Interactive Module 2.0 (AIM-2).
AIM-2 supports the Army Talent Alignment Process (ATAP) as an interim solution to fully implementing IPPS-A. Additionally, IPPS-A will be used across all three components (Active, National Guard, and Army Reserve) and will affect total Army readiness by ensuring strength managers, Human Resources Command (HRC) career managers, and commanders have a common operating picture of talent in their formations. IPPS-A is the needed change that aligns with the Army People strategy for the Army of tomorrow, today.
Department of the Army Pamphlet 600-3, Officer Professional Development and Career Management, dated April 3, 2019, states, “warrant officers (WO) in the Army are accessed with specific levels of technical ability. They refine their technical expertise and develop their leadership and management skills through tiered progressive assignment and education.” Each proponent-designed professional development model for each military occupational specialty provides additional resources for WOs to utilize regarding assignments, level of professional military education, and civilian education commensurate to rank. These important references can be found at the Army Career Tracker (ACT) website: https://actnow.army.mil/ and Smartbook DA PAM 600-3 at https://www.milsuite.mil/book/groups/smartbook-da-pam-600-3.
As with all assignments, performance is essential, and being the best subject matter expert in your organization is the key to success. Lastly, know that not every WO will have the opportunity to serve in all types of assignments (i.e., Armored, Stryker, Aviation, Air Defense Artillery, etc.). However, doing something different—working under different commands or various installations—will make you a well-rounded warrant officer as you progress through the ranks, building upon your experience to provide sound advice to your command.
Keep in mind raters focus on performance and senior raters focus on potential when writing evaluation reports. As a recommendation, senior raters should always utilize the enumeration, schooling, promotion, next level model. The senior rater narrative is by far the most important section of an officer evaluation report (OER).
Civilian Education: Complete any degrees before the promotion selection board. If you have 1-2 courses remaining before degree completion, consider writing a letter to the board president. This is only a recommendation, not a requirement.
Military Education: Complete your career progressive professional military education per DA PAM 600-3. As for other military education, continue to complete at least 1-2 courses annually (some suggested courses are listed below).
Recommended Defense Acquisition University online courses found online at https:///www.dau.mil are:
- ACQ 101 Fundamentals of Systems Acquisition Management
- LOG 101 Acquisition Logistics Fundamentals
- LOG 102 Systems Sustainment Management Fundamentals
- CLL 008 Designing for Supportability in DOD Systems
- CLL 011 Performance Based Logistics
Recommended resident courses at the Army Logistics University (found at https://alu.army.mil/cpce/courses/index.html) are:
- GCSS-Army Middle Manager
- Maintenance Manager’s Course
- Joint Logistics Course
- Support Operations
The Institute for Defense and Business I (found at https://www.idb.org/programs) offers the Industry Based Broadening: Logistics course. Check with the Combined Arms Support Command for specifics.
Department of the Army (DA) Photo: Although no longer used for promotion boards, photos are still required every five years or no later than 60 days after promotion per Army Regulation (AR) 640-30. See Military Personnel Message 21-418 titled Update and Clarification to Usage of DA Photos, and Filing Requirements dated Oct. 28, 2021, for additional information.
Medical Readiness (Per AR 40-502): Maintain your physical capacity/stamina (P), upper extremities (U), lower extremities (L), hearing (H), eyes (E), and psychiatric (S) – PULHES rating by completing the Periodic Health Assessment annually.
Security Clearance: Top secret clearances are valid for six years, and secret clearances for ten years.
Overseas / Deployment / Combat Duty: Make sure this section is nested with AR 614-30.
Awards and Decorations: Make sure awards/decorations on your Officer Record Brief (ORB) are the same as your Army Military Human Resource Record (as applicable). See AR 600-8-22 & AR 614-30 for specifics. Lastly, ensure your ORB assignment information duty titles match your OER duty titles.
The ORB and AIM-2 resume are the documents you can control. They represent your KSB-P and are working documents (constantly updating). Additionally, ensure your OER bullets are strong and well-written using the enumeration, schooling, promotion, and next-level model as a guide when evaluating your OER. Having an open dialogue with your rater and senior rater for your career is key to success and aligns with your “5 Year Plan.”
In summary, pursue progressive and diverse assignments, as the ATAP is a decentralized, regulated, market-style hiring system that aligns officers with jobs based on preferences per Headquarters Department of the Army Execution Order 241-21. Similarly, DA PAM 600-3 and ACT are additional resources. Subsequently, complete your professional military education, a military education course at least every year, and civilian education to remain competitive. Lastly, your HRC career manager is always readily available to assist, as they are an added resource/mentor at your disposal for managing your career. People First!
Chief Warrant Officer 4 Alex Blain is the senior ordnance career manager at U.S. Army Human Resources Command (HRC), at Fort Knox, Kentucky. He is responsible for the career management of MOSs: 890A, 913A, 914A, 948B, 948D, 948E. He holds a Master of Science degree in Management from Troy University and is a Warrant Officer Senior Service Education (WOSSE) graduate.
This article was published in the Winter 2022 issue of Army Sustainment.