Decentralized promotions are used for Soldiers eligible for grades E2-E4. The legacy process consists of a 24-step back-and-forth exchange of paperwork and manual entry of information between commanders and HR professionals, and HR professionals and the finance office. However, IPPS-A has automated the process by ensuring all actions are completed in the system, including the creation of promotion rosters, commanders' approval of waivers, as well as time in service and time in grade updates.
In the legacy environment, a Soldier would travel to Basic Training with a DA Form 4187 signifying his or her promotion. This paperwork would be processed at the reception battalion and then taken to the local finance office for entry to update the Soldier's rank and pay. With IPPS-A, the system sends the grade change transaction through the interface with Defense Joint Military Pay System -- Reserve Component (DJMS-RC). This transaction automatically updates a Soldier's pay and increases transparency for the Soldier, HR Professional and Commander involved in the action.
Promotion rosters are transparent in IPPS-A, allowing HR Professionals to validate Soldier eligibility simultaneously while Commanders confirm who in their formation deserves a promotion. Automated business rules in IPPS-A further enable this transparency by checking for restrictions that would prevent a Soldier from being promoted when they are not eligible. On the Soldier's effective date of promotion, IPPS-A makes all updates to the Soldier's record and generates a promotion order that is retained in IPPS-A. It also sends a copy to the Soldier's Official Military Personnel File located in the Personnel Electronic Records Management System (iPERMS).
Soldiers, Commanders and HR professionals have full transparency of what is happening in the system, and receive regular notifications throughout the process in order to stay abreast.
Through IPPS-A's outbound interface to DJMS-RC, routine military pay transactions such as accessions and promotions are happening prior to Soldiers reporting to their Initial Entry Training locations. This new efficiency has already proved beneficial for the Virginia Army National Guard and the 120th Adjutant General Battalion at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Recently, a Private Second Class from Virginia was promoted to Private 1st Class prior to leaving for Basic Training at Fort Jackson in April.
Instead of the seemingly endless back-and-forth and long wait time the Soldier was accustomed to in the legacy environment, this Private First Class was promoted in IPPS-A on April 16, 2019. The transaction was validated by G1/USPFO on April 17, 2019 and the Soldier's Master Pay Account/DJMS-RC was instantly updated with the new grade the same day.
Change is hard, but this is modernization in action!