Army IPERMS: What You Should Know

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.

During my six years in the Maryland Army National Guard, I learned a few tips to manage you personnel file effectively.

I believe that all successful Army officers and NCOs proactively manage their career.

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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.

IPERMS

# 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.

If you still can’t get your issues resolved, get your first line supervisor or Company Commander to assist you.

Final Thoughts

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!

So be proactive!

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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Thanks for Your Service,

Chuck Holmes

SKYPE: mrchuckholmes
(352) 503-4816 home office
Email: chuck@part-time-commander.com

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4 thoughts on “Army IPERMS: What You Should Know

  1. Jeff Ferry

    We worked with a similar system and I have to say that it was far superior to the old folder in a dusty drawer somewhere. Plus if you feel the need for paper copies you could always print them out.

    I made it a habit when I showed up for drill to check my personnel record, pay and my medical stats. It's the best time to take care of it before the craziness of the weekend takes over.

    Reply
  2. Greg Boudonck

    I believe IPERMS is also a much better system than the old one. No matter what, mistakes can be made, and that is why you need to check your IPERM consistently. Don’t just assume that everything is always going to be correct. As Chuck stated, when you involve people, they will make mistakes. By checking your records once per month, if there is a mistake, you can get it fixed quickly.

    Reply
  3. Rick

    Making sure your personnel information is up to date and correct is really important. Being able to check your IPERMS file once a month is good policy. Effectively managing your career and planning for growth as Army Officers means making sure all the information about you is correct. IPERMS is a good place to start.

    Reply

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