The Army I Love Me Book or Binder

Most people have heard at one point or another that they need an “I Love Me” book or binder.  This is another term for a three ring binder that you keep all your important military related documents in.  Whether you use a three ring binder, a filing cabinet, or something else is totally up to you.  But, having an “I Love Me” book is a “must do” for every Army Officer, NCO and Soldier.

Army I Love Me Book Binder

This is my actual Army I Love Me Book

If you want to have a successful career, you need to manage your records efficiently.  We’ve all heard the horror stories of the person who didn’t get promoted because their records were lost or misplaced, right before the promotion board. Or, we’ve heard stories that someone didn’t get selected for a certain duty position because their personnel records/IPERMS weren’t up to date.

Never let this happen to you! Be proactive with your personnel and training records. Create your own “I Love Me” book or binder and update it monthly. At a minimum, here’s what you need in your “I Love Me” book.

  • Army Evaluation Reports
  • School Certificates
  • Awards
  • DA Form 2-1
  • Civilian Education Transcripts and Diplomas
  • MOS/Branch Qualifications Letters of Recommendation
  • DD Form 214s
  • APFT Cards
  • HT/WT sheet
  • Weapons Qualification Paperwork
  • Any other important document you can think of

Make sure that you organize your “I Love Me” binder and keep it updated once a month, minimum. Whenever you get a new award/promotion/document, make sure you file it with your S1 Officer to update your IPERMS. Additionally, make a photo copy of it and put it in your binder.

It sounds so simple, but so few people do it! Be a leader and create your own “I Love Me” book. I’ve had one for nearly 13 years now. It never gets old. Besides, you never know when you will need to reference a document. Having all your key paperwork in one place makes it that much easier to find these documents when you need them.

I’m a civilian now, and I still have an “I Love Me” book for my old military records, in case I ever need them.  I use the same concept with my business and non-military paperwork, too.  It helps me stay organized and gives me a single place to reference my important documents.

What are your thoughts?  Leave a comment and let us know. If you have any questions, you can ask those here too.

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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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8 thoughts on “The Army I Love Me Book or Binder

  1. Crystal Townsend

    I’m a human resources NCO. I’ve made many binders for units, so I’m very good at organization. Here’s how mine is organized:

    Tab 1: qualifications (pt card, weapons qual, etc)
    Tab 2: awards/ COAs And certs of training
    Tab 3: Online Trng Certs (SSD, anti-terrorism, anti phishing, etc.)
    Tab 4: Promotions (certificates of promotions I also put my old rank that was taken off my uniform I wore in there)
    Tab 5: Education (transcripts, va letters, etc)
    Tab 6: My Records (SGLI, Wills, power of attorneys, finance docs, etching)
    Tab 7: training materials (slides from previous training I’ve attended, anything I feel significant)

    Reply
  2. Denise

    I’ve had my own “I Love Me” Book ever since I got commissioned in 1997. I updated it monthly and keep a digital copy of everything in it on a USB drive, just in case my book goes missing. I think every leader needs their own version if they want to manage their career effectively and have a simple place to store all their important military documents.

    Reply
    1. Amy Skalicky

      Perfect! I love the backup on the USB. One move can cause something to end up MIA. I also agree with you, Denise, that every leader, and every soldier as well, needs to have a well-kept and up-to-date “I Love Me” binder to effectively manage their careers. We always think we are going to remember everything, but having it in one organize binder allows you to view your story while getting a better sense of where you are and where you are heading. It’s also a good starting point for ideas if you are looking for a change.

      Reply
    2. Justin Long

      If you can’t manage your own paperwork and other important items, then how can you be expected to take care of your Soldiers. I think that EVERY single Soldier should have an “I Love Me” binder just for the reasons you listed here, Denise. I especially like the idea of having a digital backup other than iPERMS such as your USB or external hard drive. Great tip.

      Reply
  3. ASKTOP.NET

    Chuck,
    You are spot on! It is vital leaders prepare themselves by having the “I Love Me Book”. You never know when the need for this information will arise. It also comes in handy when it’s time to update your security clearance by giving you names of people, old unit addresses, dates at specific locations, etc. Since retirement I find myself going back to my book to get information and/or check for examples.

    Reply
    1. Charles Holmes Post author

      Thanks, Mark.

      I even kept a copy of my previous security clearance application in my “I Love Me” book. When I had to renew my clearance it was so easy to do.

      Chuck

      Reply
      1. Violette

        Everyone needs an I Love Me Book, especially if you supervise others. You provide lots of great tips for creating and maintaining one, Chuck. Thanks for sharing.

        Reply

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