Soldiers advised to look for IPPS-A makeover of legacy paperwork

By William CostelloFebruary 3, 2023

Soldiers of every generation have come to understand and endure the fact that to get just about anything accomplished in the Army, there will always be paperwork. And that paperwork will, from time to time, often disappear without anyone willing to take responsibility for its loss.

Now that the Integrated Personnel and Pay System – Army (IPPS-A) is live and available for use by Soldiers in the Active, Reserve Component and National Guard, all Soldiers can initiate and track the progress of their individual personnel actions through every step of the approval process and receive a notice when the action is complete. In theory, it should put an end to missing paperwork.

Soldiers will also notice significant format changes to the appearance and content to some of the most familiar and commonly used documents.

Assignment Orders

IPPS-A produces assignment orders for Soldiers destined for permanent change of station (PCS) and temporary duty (TDY) moves. Changes to the IPPS-A generated document include a visibly cleaner, easier-to-read layout, with a sharper font type and size.

Reassignment orders will not only follow a new production process but the details within the order are displayed differently. The orders, once complete, reduce the details of the orders by applying applicable codes for entitlements and a person can access them through the mobile app on their personal phone.

After Human Resources Command sends enlisted or officer assignment instructions through IPPS-A, Soldiers receive an email directing them to login and make various elections typically associated with military moves such as identifying which family members will be moving with Soldier. The local military personnel detachment (MPD) then validates inputs and publishes orders within IPPS-A.

(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

Once complete, an e-mail alerts Soldiers that orders are available on their mobile device eliminating the need for Soldiers to retrieve their orders from the installation MPD. Because Soldiers will have the ability to print PCS orders from IPPS-A, HRC will no longer provide Soldiers assignment instructions or a request for orders (RFO).

As these changes occurred, early feedback received at U.S. Army Human Resources Command indicated that Soldiers experienced some difficulty accessing housing, transportation and transition assistance services at various Army installations because those agencies were not familiar with the new order formats.

“As familiarity with IPPS-A-generated documents continues to grow over time, the expectation is that Soldiers will experience more efficiency when those interactions take place,” said Brig. Gen. Greg S. Johnson, the Adjutant General of the Army.

DA Form 31 goes on leave

Soldiers looking to take time away from their unit of assignment for various reasons understand the requirement for a valid DA Form 31 Request for Leave.

Instead of the legacy DA Form 31, with IPPS-A Soldiers can initiate an Absence Request using the mobile application.

The absence request is easily submitted through a tile button within the individual log in. After an absence request is approved the details of the leave period, which include chargeable and non-chargeable categories, the leave will automatically be processed through the Soldier’s existing pay system.

Instead of the legacy DA Form 31, with IPPS-A, Soldiers can initiate an Absence Request using the mobile application.
Instead of the legacy DA Form 31, with IPPS-A, Soldiers can initiate an Absence Request using the mobile application. (Photo Credit: Photo Illustration) VIEW ORIGINAL

“Information contained within the absence request is similar to the legacy DA Form 31 Soldiers are used to however, the most apparent change is the formatting of the information,” said Lt. Col. Bennetta L. Hamm, a member of the HRC Enterprise Modernization Directorate.

Replacing the DA Form 4187

Perhaps the most common form in use by Soldiers to request a personnel action is the multi-purpose DA Form 4187 often submitted to the unit S-1 when there’s a change in marital status, an advancement in rank, a request to attend specialized training, or other personnel related changes.

Replacing the 4187 is the Personnel Action Request or “PAR.” All Soldiers can self-initiate a personnel action by accessing the PAR tile through the IPPS-A application on their mobile device and attaching any related documents supporting the request.

"The Army has always been a "People First" organization; IPPS-A enhances the force's ability to provide Soldiers and Families efficient and accurate Personnel Services; this is a Win!,” said Col. Jeanette Martin, head of HRC’s Enterprise Modernization Directorate.

Officials stress that despite some early data transmission issues with legacy systems, IPPS-A will improve Soldiers’ quality of life by providing one record that will stay with them for their entire military career, reducing errors in pay and personnel matters, providing full transparency of actions, and implementing mobile, self-service capabilities.