What is IPERMS and how does it work?
IPERMS is an acronym that stands for Interactive Personnel Electronics Records Management System.
Simply put, IPERMS is an online database and/or information system used for storing and managing military personnel records.
It electronically stores evaluation reports, some medical documents, college and military transcripts, awards, diplomas, and much more.
IPERMS is designed to eliminate the need for stockpiling paperwork and records at the unit level.
It also makes it much easier for the individual Soldier to access his or her personnel file from anywhere in the world.
In essence, IPERMS simplifies the entire personnel records management process.
At least it’s supposed to.
Unfortunately, things don’t always work out that way.
Anytime you involve people in a process you create an opportunity for errors and mistakes.
That being said, I do believe that IPERMS is much better than the “old school” record keeping system of keeping everything in a folder at the local personnel office.
Typically, IPERMS is managed by civilians, 42A Soldiers or human resource specialists.
I believe that all successful Army officers and NCOs proactively manage their career.
One aspect of career management is managing your personnel files.
Failure to do so can have a negative impact on your career.
I’ve met several officers and NCOs who missed out on promotions and job opportunities because their personnel files weren’t accurate or current!
I don’t want that to happen to you.
What I want to do in the paragraphs below is share some of my best tips for managing your IPERMS file better.
# 1 Check Your IPERMS file Once Each Month: One day each month, preferably on the first or last day of the month, you should check your IPERMS file online.
You can access your file by logging into your Army AKO account.
Once you do that, review your IPERMS file to see if any new documents have been added or removed.
If you do check IPERMS at least once a month you can find mistakes and fix them immediately.
Most Soldiers only check their file once a year, if that.
Don’t make that common mistake.
If you wait to long to verify or check your IPERMS file, you might not find a mistake until it is too late to fix it.
# 2 Get to Know Your IPERMS Manager: I believe in the chain-of-command, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have strategic relationships with people outside your chain-of-command.
At a minimum, you should find out WHO is responsible for managing the IPERMS program within your state.
Find out who the NCOIC or OIC is or find out which person is responsible for managing files for your unit.
Once you find out who they are, give them a call and/or send them an email to introduce yourself.
Treat them nicely.
Ask if you can set up an appointment with them to learn about the IPERMS process and go through your records.
I’ve found that if you have a healthy working relationship with someone (regardless of their rank), they will be more willing to help you out when a problem arises.
# 3 Submit New Files to Your S1 When You Receive Them: Whenever you get a new document, such as an evaluation report, 1059, or an award, submit it to IPERMS through your S1 channels.
Make sure they attach a TL to your document and that they submit it to the IPERMS Section in a reasonable amount of time (less than two weeks).
After two to three weeks, check to see if the document has been uploaded into your IPERMS file.
If it has, send the IPERMS team a thank you email for processing your files so quickly.
If it isn’t updated in IPERMS within a few weeks, move to the next step.
# 4 Follow Up, Follow Up, Follow Up: The secret to success is in the follow-up.
In the event you have a discrepancy in your personnel file, follow up with your S1 and/or IPERMS manager consistently.
Send them emails and call them.
Even if you annoy them, that’s okay.
There’s nothing wrong with annoying people from time-to-time, especially when it comes to managing your own career.
By following the steps outlined above you will manage your IPERMS records effectively.
Your records will be up to date and accurate.
And you will be one step ahead of your peers.
Just remember that no one else cares about your career as much as you do!
On a side note, if you have experience working with IPERMS, I would love to hear from you.
Please share any tips or suggestions you might have to keep your records accurate.
Just leave a comment below to share your thoughts.
If you have any questions about IPERMS, just ask and I will do my very best to provide an accurate answer.
Thank you and have a great day.
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