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News | Oct. 30, 2023

IPPS-A Update: Awards, Training, Promotions, PCS

IPPS-A has been live for the Total Force for almost 10 months. I am honored to take on the responsibility of leading IPPS-A into the future. We are pushing forward to incorporate Soldier feedback and address known issues. As we continue to make progress, I want to thank you for encouraging your Soldiers to become more familiar with IPPS-A, and to share what they have learned with their teammates.
I want to provide you with some updates, guidance, and resources to share with your units as they continue to navigate IPPS-A:
Process Awards Prior to Departure
It is essential that Soldiers be recognized for their hard work and dedication. That’s why understanding how and when to submit for awards is critical.
Awards should be completed prior to a Soldier’s departure from a unit. After a Soldier has left a unit, a Buddy Personnel Action Request (PAR) can still be submitted for their award (though that unit no longer has permissions to the Soldier). The Buddy PAR then routes to the approval chain of the awardee – not the recommender. This means the Soldier’s new organization is responsible for approving the submitted award, which is transferring the responsibility and not taking care of Soldiers.
Note: A Buddy PAR must be completed prior to a Soldier’s separation.
You will find a Buddy PAR job aid on the website; please share this with your HR personnel so they know how to submit one for members in and/or outside of their organization.
Validator Refresher Training
Unit Validators are responsible for granting subcategories/roles, ensuring Soldiers maintain appropriate levels of system access for all their mission requirements. It is critical that Validators, Validator Administrators, and Key Entity Enabling Bundle (KEEB) personnel maintain the skills and knowledge necessary to help their fellow Soldiers.

Please see the schedule for upcoming virtual Validator Refresher training and encourage participation.
Please ensure you are referring to HRC’s recently published guidance on the Record Brief used during Centralized Promotion Boards (see MILPER 23-367). Recommended Soldiers will appear before the Promotion Board between the 10th and 26th of the month.
Note: Commanders are unable to make recommendations after the 10th of every month.
It is our responsibility to build generational readiness and grow the leaders of the future. You may refer Soldiers to resources on S1Net and encourage participation in the TAGD Promotion Townhalls for promotion-related questions. See Updating Records for Boards slides to assist your organizations with updating Soldier records for boards.
PCS Moves
HRC also published guidance on the temporary pause of new assignments. This may have caused some confusion and inconveniences for Soldiers. However, no action was required of Soldiers, and the MPDs are required to execute final approval in IPPS-A. If your Soldiers need further guidance, please refer them to the S1Net message.
Please continue to ensure your NCOs have the information and materials they need to succeed and support their Soldiers. User guides, manuals, and job aids are available to assist all users. Additionally, the system includes User Productivity Kits (UPKs) to highlight how to do actions and a Frequently Asked Questions database. Users can find the answers to most questions through these resources. See slides detailing available Training and menus in the system for assistance.
Why is this important? While the learning curve is completely understandable, the onus must be placed on HR Pros at all levels. Although the IPPS-A team here is built with tremendous professionals that will never shy away from assisting Soldiers, we as leaders must do what we can to get cases and/or issues resolved at the lowest level.
Doing this, along with utilizing Customer Relationship Management (CRM) cases will take care of two very important things. First, requesting assistance via CRM will help us track trends effecting the entire Army rather than helping Soldiers from one specific unit. This will help us with the prioritization of updates to IPPS-A. Second, it will help our team get after what we really need them to do; making the updates that we know need to be accomplished as well as make necessary improvements to the system based on the amazing engineering change requests we get from the field.
Please ensure your Soldiers only execute real transactions – not practice transactions or training – on the IPPS-A live system (production site). Otherwise, Soldier data will be incorrectly altered resulting in possible negative impacts. To safely conduct training, users must utilize the IPPS-A training environments (practice sites) to practice or create test IPPS-A transactions.
IPPS-A Live System Logins:
Elevated User:
Operational Training Environment (OTE):
Thank you for continuing to inform and support your units. Your leadership is helping Soldiers become more empowered.
Feel free to reach out to me if you need anything, I am here for you!
SGM Paul J. Smith
Senior Enlisted Advisor