Army National Guard soldiers will be first to receive the Army’s new smartphone-friendly pay and personnel-management system when it rolls out early next year.
The Integrated Personnel and Pay System will give soldiers more visibility of their personnel records, Col. Gregory Johnson, the IPPS-A's chief of functional management, told Military.com. That level of transparency is long overdue, he added.
"You can't keep treating soldiers like we're in the 1950s," he said. "We allow soldiers to deploy and make life-and-death decisions, but we don't let them see what's going on with their personnel records. It's time to change."
Tying personnel and pay files together should also help cut the number errors troops find in their paycheck, he said.
Up to 10 percent of soldiers report dealing with pay problems at any given time, said Col. Darby McNulty, the IPPS-A's project manager. They might switch duty stations or deploy, but their paychecks do not always reflect the change.
"There's a complete air gap between your pay and your [human resources] systems," Johnson said. "IPPS-A's going to solve that; it's going to bring it together. If you update the duty status or location of a soldier, it automatically updates the pay."
The system consolidates more than 200 human resources and pay systems, McNulty said. IPPS-A will eliminate separate systems used by officers, enlisted soldiers, Guard or Reserve units, and pull everything into one database, he said.
IPPS-A is also a talent-management system. Commanders will be able to use the system to see the skill sets of soldiers in their units by viewing a new 25-point profile on every individual, Johnson said.
"You're going to find out a whole heck of a lot about soldiers you have no clue about today," he said. "People have talents, and the Army has no idea."
IPPS-A will debut early next year. Army Guard units will be the first to use the system before it is rolled out to the active component and Army Reserve in 2020.
The Pennsylvania Army Guard will see the new system in January. Army Guard soldiers in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Virginia and West Virginia and Virginia can expect to start using it later that month. Every state and territory will have by the end of September 2019.
Once it has rolled out to the entire force, leaders will continue making changes and improvements to the system, Johnson said.
More information about IPPS-A is available at www.ipps-a.army.mil.