With Permanent Change of Station (PCS) season upon us, this week’s note is focused on assignment related issues, arrivals/departures and PCS orders. I also want to make you aware of some key enhancements that have recently been released.
First and foremost — assignment types matter! If you are having trouble arriving/departing personnel, you should first check to see what type of assignment was approved in IPPS-A. Soldiers moving on legacy orders will have a Permanent Change of Assignment/Reassignment (PCA/RAS) assignment. Others will have some variation of PCS — Operational (OPN), Rotational (ROT), Training (TNG), etc.
PCA/RAS Assignments (Legacy PCS Orders)
Soldiers with a PCA/RAS assignment (Non-funded Order), traveling on a Funded Legacy Order, must NOT submit their absence as a PCS absence; instead they must submit the absence as an Annual Absence. IPPS-A prevents arrival when the wrong absence type is used. In these instances, Soldiers or HR Professionals must adjust the absence request to prior to the unit arriving the Soldier. This scenario is a result of the cutover process and all future PCS orders are entered as funded orders, eliminating this issue.
For Soldiers who arrive early when on a PCA/RAS assignment, in order to depart the person, defer the arrival date to one date past the absence end date. The change will route to the losing S1 pool for approval. Once approved you can depart and arrive the Soldier.
PCA/RAS assignment departures are the only departures that you must wait until the Soldier has arrived to the gaining installation to do the departure. Again, this problem goes away when we work through these legacy orders.
. A Soldier arrives early to their assignment, but the position is currently filled preventing arrival of the Soldier. IPPS-A must comply with the Global Force Management Data Initiative (GFMDI) business rules that allow only one
person to occupy a position. Units must either reassign the person occupying the position or divert the incoming Soldier until the position is no longer occupied. Be sure to check if the position is vacant. This can be done by looking at the Position History.
No/Late Departure Transaction
. Soldiers arrive to new duty station and have not been departed from the previous one. IPPS-A does not allow for Soldiers to be arrived without first being departed from their previous assignment. This was allowed in legacy systems because the departure transaction did not affect anything else. In IPPS-A, the departure transaction is linked to when the next Soldier can arrive to that position, and the correct duty status of the Soldier. Soldiers with PCS assignments (not PCA/RAS) should be departed in a timely fashion. If the Soldier’s absence has already passed, you’ll need to use the in-transit grid to adjust the arrival information (which will adjust the absence request) and allow the Soldier to be departed. If you do not adjust the in-transit grid, you will likely get the error “Departure Date is between PCS begin date… and end date.”
. Rather than adjust the assignment start dates, use the in-transit grid for arrivals. Upon arrival, when the unit arrives the Soldier using the in-transit grid, the system will automatically update the Soldier’s absence request to the day prior
to arrival. This allows for the gaining unit/installation to enter the appropriate travel days to properly charge the Soldier, and will adjust the start date of the assignment. Adjusting the assignment start date instead of using the in-transit grid will cause the absence request to be out of sync with the assignment, and makes the in-transit grid unusable. You must manually adjust the absence requests before arriving the Soldier.
Assignment Errors and Solutions
“Training Status Blank”
- All Service Members are authorized up to 30 Days early report (AR 600-8-10 4-7f)
- For those Soldiers reporting earlier than their report date, Soldiers need to build their Absence in Conjunction with PCS to the day prior to their report date
- Upon arrival, the gaining unit will use the in-transit grid to reflect the accurate date of arrival, which will update the Servicemember’s gaining assignment begin date
“Military Comp Category Mapping Validation failed”
- Click Other Actions on losing assignment
- Select “Update Training Status”
- Click into the “Training Status” (this button is located under the Assignment Header Information)
- Select the appropriate Training Status, each Training Status is defined within the table
- Click done when finished
- Submit Training Status Update
- Click other actions on the losing assignment
- Select Departure
- Depart Member
- Arrive Member
Soldiers on Inactive UICs
- Military Component Category (MCC) is one of the values the Army uses to track strength at the enterprise level
- This error is found when attempting to depart a Service Member, and is caused by a MCC value not matching the accepted values on the gaining assignment (apples to oranges)
- To repair the error:
- Select “Other Actions > update component category” on the losing assignment
- Select “Component Category” (this button is located under the “Assignment Header Information” portion of the landing page)
- Insert appropriate MCC into the text box (Example: Active Component Available Force is A11)
- Click done when finished
- Click “Submit MCC Update”
- Depart and arrive member
Assignments Stuck in “Waivered/Pending” Status
- Units will see incidents when their Unit Identification Codes (UICs) deactivated, and then the same UIC is reactivated the next day
- This is a change that happens in the Army’s system of record for Force Management, Army Organizational Structure (https://aos.fms.army.mil/)
- IPPS-A cannot prevent this at this time, but we can predict it
- Additionally, this schedule is pushed weekly to your Major Command (MACOM) Force Managers
- You and your team can get ahead of this by using the attached Job Aid , and reviewing the UIC Inactivation/Reactivation schedule:
Assignments from Interface Partners (MOBCOP, AORS, RLAS, etc.)
- This is caused by an end user terminating the assignment in workflow when it is routed for approval
- Do not terminate, or deny the assignment; instead push it back for corrections
- The only existing fix for this right now is at the IPPS-A program level
- Review with your next level HR support to ensure this is the error, and then submit a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) case for “Terminated Assignment”
Processing Orders in IPPS-A
- These interface orders directly start and stop member benefits and entitlements
- Do not delete these assignments as this will end the Tricare benefits and entitlements for those Soldiers
- Curtail/Defer is authorized
I’d like to share some of the changes we have captured for orders and provide an update on where we stand with making those changes. The Army’s goal is to move away from the need to produce memos/addendums in order to support Soldiers’ moves.
When the Human Resources Command (HRC) processes diversion orders, all
offices working with the Soldier should be aware that Defense Finance Accounting Service (DFAS) and transportation offices will require the original order along with the diversion order to facilitate shipments and payments.
Regarding the current memo/addendum, we have grouped the items on the addendum below, and provided an update on where we are with each:
Missing Dependent Information
: this includes whether dependents are command sponsored, dependents’ birth dates, deferred or concurrent travel, and other entitlement clarifications as may be required by DFAS and transportation offices. The fix to add Command Sponsorship wording to orders was completed in May. We have captured the other requirements, and they are still pending a fix/release date.
Missing Authorized Departing Location
: when PCSing from a “with duty at” location, please include the locations from which Soldiers are authorized to depart. For accessions orders, include the home of record from which a Soldier is authorized to travel. We have captured these requirements and they are still pending a fix/release date.
Incorrect Assignment End Date
: If the end date on orders is incorrect, please include the DEROS or prescribed assignment end date in additional items on the memo/addendum. We have captured this requirement and it is still pending a fix/release date.
We are working closely with the developer and our program management counterparts to find the best solution to get these items done quickly given all the competing priorities. Please continue to be patient as we work through them.
We are also working with Installation Management Command (IMCOM), Army Sustainment Command (ASC), and DFAS to review and finalize scenario-specific menus of entitlements to eliminate the need for hand picking of entitlement statements that populate the special instructions section. For example, an Advanced Individual Training (AIT) graduate going to their first Professional Development Series (PDS) in CONUS will have approximately 40 entitlement statements populating the special instructions after the Soldier or HR Professional chooses between the either/or statements (i.e., the traveler is
a Government Travel Charge Card (GTCC) cardholder versus the traveler is not
a GTCC cardholder). We will continue to provide updates as we move further in this process.
: You may have noticed a new tile on your HR Pro homepage. We recently released the Absence Analytics report that will list the number of absences by type for your organization. You can drill down by UIC or Distribution Management Level/Sub-Level (DML/DMSL) and, with other Business Intelligence (BI) reports, when clicking on the number, you will be given the list of Soldiers.
Workflow Template and UDL Changes
: Changes to Workflow templates and User-Defined Lists (UDLs) can now be made even if the originator of the template or UDL has departed. We hope this change will assist as many folks begin to transition for the summer.
HR Pro Lite:
As of 9 June, the HR Professional Lite (HR Pro Lite) subcategory is available. The HR Pro Lite subcategory was created specifically for our AIT Adjutant General (AG) Soldiers. Note, HR Pro Lite is not a substitute for the HR Professional subcategory. Field users should NOT be using this subcategory without further guidance.
Help Desk Hours Update
The IPPS-A Help Desk provided support for inbound calls and case escalations 24 hours a day, 7 days a week providing the service needed after Go-Live. HRC is changing the Help Desk to right size service and reduce the use of Government Civilians during off-hours. HRC coordinated with Team IPPS-A on these changes to continue Soldier support at the appropriate levels based on new trends in call volume. On Friday, 30 June 2023, the IPPS-A Help Desk hours will change to:
Monday through Friday: 0700–0000 (midnight) ET
Saturday and Sunday: 0700–1900 ET
Any calls received after hours will be provided the option to leave a voicemail for follow up the next business day. As always, users have 24/7 access to IPPS-A’s knowledge database and can submit a CRM case.
Check out the latest manuals including the IPPS-A User Manual v7 and CRM User Manual v5, available in the system at https://hr.ippsa.army.mil/upk/r3/demoserver/index.html
. Please utilize the manuals to help you execute tasks and provide your feedback for incorporation into the next iterations.
We have a lot of great IPPS-A products created by units located on S1Net. On the left-hand side of the IPPS-A landing page
, find the SUB-TOPICS column, and click “IPPS-A SOPs/Tools” underneath that. Please feel free to “donate” any IPPS-A SOPs and products that have worked for you team!
Our IPPS-A group on Facebook is a great place to connect with your peers and access real-time updates, dialogue, and answers to your
questions. Under the tab labeled “Files,” you will find helpful resources. To join, visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/875398305999928
Rebecca L. Eggers
IPPS-A website: https://ipps-a.army.mil/
IPPS-A Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/armyippsa/
IPPS-A YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/IPPSA
IPPS-A Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/usarmy_ippsa/