DEFEND AND SERVE! 2023, another year of great opportunity for the Adjutant General’s Corps. I along with CSM DeVeaux, the Regimental Command Sergeant Major and CW5 Hickman, the Chief Warrant officer of the Corps, would like to take this opportunity to wish each of you the very best in the new year. We are inspired by the dedication of our AG Soldiers and Teams who continue to deliver mission focused HR support. As we move into a new year full of opportunities, through the talent initiatives and modernization efforts of our AG Corps Strategy, we must also strengthen and build our Corps through connection with each other, our friends, family, and our larger HR community. We are committed to the Adjutant General’s Corps Strategy now and in the future fight. The AG School remains focused on the core mission of training, educating, and developing our AG Talent and preparing the AG proponent for the future.
In this edition I wanted to address IPPS-A, the AG Corps strategy and training focus, NCOES ALC/SLC requirements, AG Week and the National AG Ball scheduled for 12-15 June, and announce the next Chief Warrant Officer of the Corps.
IPPS-A “Go Live” Release 3 is out for all users. What an historical accomplishment as we deliver a modernized personnel system for our Army. This is the culmination of many years of hard work, planning, and preparation. I am proud to have witnessed all the efforts by our HR teammates to get us to the “Go-live” point. However, this is not the finish line, rather just the next mile marker, as we continue with future release plans and refinements of the current functionality. It is imperative all of us continue to learn and employ this system as units and leaders look to us to help lead and guide them. We are relying on you, the AG leaders at every echelon, to conduct continuous IPPS-A hands on training down to the lowest level. We must integrate IPPS-A into all future training, exercises, WFXs, and deployment opportunities…It is our future system, here now.
As stated in our Adjutant General’s Corps Strategy, we must collectively strive for our Corps to be an agile force, that is data driven, equitable, and predictive. We must also remain a Corps that is operationally and strategically focused. I challenge everyone in the Adjutant General community – all HR professionals and musicians, to read the new FM 3.0 and understand how our core competencies nest with our wartime mission and support future Army operations. As we embrace these changes to our operational constructs, we must remain a key component to the capabilities this modern Army brings to the fight.
We continue to drive change to modernize training in a more demanding training environment, designed to challenge and build the necessary skills for an Army capable of large-scale combat operations (LSCO). We strongly believe this is not just about training in field conditions; but a comprehensive approach to focus on all aspects of realistic training, including leveraging the experiences of past and present senior leaders of our Corps to inform our future. We must reinvigorate a strong AG culture that embraces our history, traditions, and regimental affiliation, and instills standards and discipline that builds cohesive teams throughout our Corps.
Building cohesive teams and training is critical to all AG leaders and especially our noncommissioned officers. The goal is no 42A ALC or SLC seats left unfilled. A reminder from CSM DeVeaux, as of October 1, 2022, Phase one of ALC and SLC will be conducted virtually through Blackboard (Bb) at home station (NCOs must have access to a computer with microphone & camera) capabilities. This is your NCO’s place of duty, and they must be present! Small Group Leaders & Instructors will facilitate and conduct accountability through Bb. There will be no exceptions to utilize MS Teams as this is not the platform for distribution or facilitation. Small Group Leaders will contact NCOs forty-five days prior to their school start date (Phase one) informing them of the requirements and to conduct a communication check. An important point: AR 350-1 still applies to virtual attendance as if it is resident, meaning Temporary Profiles (for example) are not authorized to attend the course. Any personnel identified on Temporary Profile after start of course will result in a “MEDICAL DISMISSAL”. Upon completion of Phase I, Student-NCOs will travel (if not stationed on Ft. Jackson) and complete Phase two of the course curriculum. If Phase one is not completed, Student-NCOs will not move forward to Phase two. Due to increases in deletions, deferments, and no-shows, NCOA Commandants now have the authority to accept individuals as walk-ons. If anyone has questions, regarding our 42A ALC/SLC courses please contact our NCOA Commandant, CSM LaShan Hayes or CSM Deveaux. We need your help to make sure our talented AG NCOs are given time to meet the prerequisites for ALC/SLC and attend as scheduled… no seats left open.
Planning and preparation for our annual AG Week and AG Ball, June 12-15 is ramping up. Please mark your calendars for a Thursday night AG Ball on 15 June. And yes, it’s time to recommend those deserving of the AG awards recognition program and update your AGCRA membership. I would encourage all AG and HR professionals to join the AGCRA and connect with our AG Corps. Our AGCRA is a great way to build relationships and stay up to date on events within our Corps. It’s a great resource both locally and nationally wherever you are.
Lastly, it is my privilege to announce CW5 Chad G. Bowen, currently serving as the V Corps Senior HR Tech, has been selected to serve as the 9th Chief Warrant Officer of the AG Corps. CW5 Bowen is an exceptional AG Warrant Officer with an incredible reputation, and brings to the position over 32 years of experience and expertise while serving in a wide variety of operational positions across the globe. CW5 Bowen will assume responsibility from CW5 Mark Hickman in a change of responsibility ceremony at the Soldier Support Institute, tentatively scheduled for July 13, 2023. CW5 Hickman will retire with 31+ years of dedicated service. He has made a tremendous impact on the AG Corps as the Chief Warrant Officer of the Corps and his leadership and personal contributions have been monumental. Chief, we salute you!
We are especially thankful for all your contributions to make our Corps better. Thank you to the AG Warriors out there who are all in, driving change for the future.
DEFEND AND SERVE!
Colonel Chesley D. Thigpen, Jr. Commandant, U.S. Army Adjutant General School
I am honored to serve with you as 36th Commandant of the U.S. Army Adjutant General School and 23rd Chief of the Corps. My family and I are blessed, and I wish to thank everyone that has welcomed us to Fort Jackson and to the SSI and AG School (AGS) Teams. I also want to thank COL Marcus Motley, for his leadership over the past two years as our Commandant and for his hard work to transform our Corps for the future.
I am inspired by this diverse and talented group of AG professionals and with our HR stakeholders worldwide. We look forward to the coming months as we focus on historic changes in our HR data systems and deliver capabilities to our entire Army. Simultaneously, we must ensure our fielded force structure meets the needs of our Army to fight to win our nation’s wars in 2030 and beyond.
In just a few short months we will see the latest release of the Integrated Personnel and Pay System for the Army (IPPS-A), a comprehensive human resources information system (HRIS). This will be historic for both our Corps and the Army as we integrate Active, Guard, and Reserve HR data into a single platform, subsuming multiple legacy systems. The availability of multiple data points on individual Soldiers will present new opportunities to better manage our talent across the force. Our HR professionals will be called upon as the subject matter experts to help Commanders manage their people.
Our Adjutant General’s Corps Strategy, published just a few months ago, is a framework for everyone in our Corps to strive to be HR professionals of excellence, remain tactically and technically proficient in our craft, and be relevant to our Army. The strategy outlines a path to modernization and the increased effectiveness of our Corps.
In just the short time I have been on board, I am impressed by the volume of impactful projects that our team is already tackling. From structure and force design challenges presented to our proponency division, to the modernization of our Captain’s Career Course and other Professional Military Education, to the training of IPPS-A in our Advanced Individual Training and Functional Courses, there remains an ongoing effort to meet the demands of the field by developing quality HR professionals. We must also recognize our Band professionals at the Army School of Music (ASOM), and the joint service team at the Inter-service Postal Training Activity (IPTA). ASOM and IPTA are an integral part of our school family and provide critical skills to support the Army mission.
I am excited about the future of our Corps. Together, with the Regimental Command Sergeant Major, CSM Tamika DeVeaux, and the Chief Warrant Officer of the Branch, CW5 Mark Hickman, we are focused on leading, shaping, training, and developing our HR experts for this great Army, serving its people, past, present and future!