Editor's Note: After this story was published, Army officials contacted Military.com to say that Army public affairs had been wrong, that delays for promotions would in fact happen. Read more here.
Despite uncertainty about when the Army's delayed new human resources system will be launched, officials say promotions over the next few months should not be impacted.
On Dec. 1, the legacy system that tracks the promotions process behind the scenes will be shut down as the service transitions to the new Integrated Personnel and Pay System-Army, or IPPS-A. The new system, designed to be a major step forward in modernizing how the service organizes personnel records, was originally scheduled to go live for the entire force in December last year and then was delayed again last summer.
The Army won't say when the new platform will launch service-wide, but behind-the-scenes work on the transition and on how promotions are handled for December signals it could be imminent, potentially picking up right after the old system is shut down. IPPS-A is already in use in the Army National Guard, which has effectively served as a beta test.
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Files for December promotions were pulled from the old internal system Nov. 9, Sgt. 1st Class Anthony Hewitt, a service spokesperson, told Military.com.
No promotions should be impacted through the transition to IPPS-A, but the monthly lists showing who is up for promotion might see slight delays.
"Once the transition to IPPS-A, some time will be needed for December promotion transactions to process prior to identifying those who would be promoted effective February 1," Hewitt said in a statement.
Getting IPPS-A off the ground has been a major logistical challenge for the Army, but one that it hopes will revamp how it does administrative work, as most of its IT systems are severely outdated. Army Times was first to detail the development slog behind the massive HR overhaul. Two weeks before the delayed launch of the new system in September, the switch was pushed back again with the Army thus far not announcing a new date.
When finalized, IPPS-A will serve as a platform to centralize how the Army tracks pay, awards and transfers, among other personnel functions. One of the key features that has been touted by senior leaders, including Gen. James McConville, the Army chief of staff, is a set of tools that tracks a soldier's personal talents, including civilian work experiences -- such as coding, as well as education and hobbies that on paper can help Army planners better decide how to utilize its troops.
-- Steve Beynon can be reached at Steve.Beynon@military.com. Follow him on Twitter @StevenBeynon.
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