The Army will launch the Integrated Personnel and Pay System-Army on Tuesday, signaling what service leaders promise will be a new era of talent management and transparency in personnel actions.
The launch comes after a decade of work that followed a failed attempt to create a unified human resources platform for the entire military.
An earlier version of the program has been live for the Army National Guard for years. The Tuesday release will debut major new functions and add human resources professionals from the active duty force and the Army Reserve to the platform. The move is intended to replace a mass of outdated systems with one unified platform for all of the service’s troops.
But the road wasn’t easy — problems with combining the data from decades-old HR systems led the service to delay the program’s launch multiple times. The “go-live” date kept moving later, first from December 2021 to Sept. 20, and then again until this month.
Regular users won’t have access until January, Col. Rebecca Eggers, a spokesperson for the program, wrote in a statement to Army Times. The soft launch period will “provide HR professionals additional time to properly prepare before Soldiers are added to the system and ensure connectivity has stabilized.”
Eggers confirmed that the platform will include all promised features, despite the systems integration challenges. She cautioned, though, that “as more users navigate the system, there may be items that need to be addressed.”
Service officials have long hailed the potential benefits of IPPS-A, emphasizing its ease of access and the transparency it offers soldiers, who will be able to electronically submit their personnel requests and track them through the administrative approval chain.
The platform will also enable expanded talent management data collection and analysis, officials said.
In addition to their traditional record briefs, troops will have “talent profiles” that integrate data the platform collects on their civilian-acquired skills and certifications. The platform will eventually host the job application boards — dubbed “talent marketplaces” — where soldiers and units connect for future assignments.
But it remains to be seen how smooth the rollout will go. The Navy’s recent efforts to modernize its HR systems disrupted the service’s ability to issue discharge paperwork for sailors, leaving transitioning troops unable to access key benefits in a timely manner.
Davis Winkie is a senior reporter covering the Army, specializing in accountability reporting, personnel issues and military justice. He joined Military Times in 2020. Davis studied history at Vanderbilt University and UNC-Chapel Hill, writing a master's thesis about how the Cold War-era Defense Department influenced Hollywood's WWII movies.