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Chapter 5

This chapter describes the mission, proponency, and doctrinal requirements and standards of service of the personnel information management system. It also describes how the system operates using SIDPERS 3.0 and SIDPERS 2.75 pending objective system (Chapter 27) development and fielding. This chapter describes how the Army intends to establish a theater personnel information management system to support force projection. The systemic network, the responsibilities of personnel units and sections, and the manpower required within the system are also described.


The mission of the personnel information management system is to collect, validate, process, and store critical information about soldiers, Army civilians, and units. This information assists commanders in their decision-making process and satisfies the Army's legal obligation to retain historical information about veterans, retirees, and civilians who deploy. It also supports policy and personnel management decisions at DA level.

The Army currently maintains personnel information in two forms: manual and electronic.


The manual personnel record consists of the official military personnel file (OMPF) and the military personnel records jacket (MPRJ). USTA PERSCOM maintains the OMPF for Active Component (AC) commissioned and warrant soldiers. The U.S. Army Enlisted Records and Evaluation Center (USAEREC) maintains the OMPF for active Army enlisted soldiers. The U.S. Army Reserve Personnel Center (USAR-PERCEN) maintains the OMPF for soldiers of the Army Reserve. The National Guard Bureau (NGB) maintains the OMPF for officers and warrant officers of the ARNG. The MPRJ is the OMPF for enlisted ARNG soldiers and is maintained by the soldier's state Adjutant General. The servicing personnel services battalion (PSB) or military personnel division (MPD) maintains the MPRJ for soldiers of the Active and Reserve Components on active duty.

When deployed away from the personnel organization that performs their records management, the battalion S1 or the individual replacement ensures the deployment record is provided to the designated PSB. The deployment record serves as a field file and includes copies of forms such as the DD Form 93/SGLI, 2A and 2-1/ORB, and other forms, as outlined in AR 600-8-104 and as prescribed by the proponent.

At mobilization, ARNG and USAR units take their MPRJ to the mobilization station where the installation AG assumes custody through demobilization.

The manual personnel record for Army civilians, both appropriated find (APF) and non-appropriated find (NAF), is the official personnel file. The local civilian personnel offices (APF and NAP) maintain these records. During deployment, the employee carries an extract of this record to the designated personnel management center (PMC).


Commanders maintain individual electronic personnel records in command data bases in the field to conduct personnel accounting and strength reporting at installations and in areas of operation. The information system(s) also provides individual information such as individual assignments, location, and skills information. USTA PERSCOM maintains a larger version of the individual electronic record within the Total Army Personnel Data Base (TAPDB) for AC soldiers. The personnel information system managers improvise with various systems pending fielding of objective systems which can meet the requirements outlined in Chapter 27.


TAPDB is the Army's official data base which serves as the Army official repository for USTA PERSCOM, USARPERCEN, and the NGB.

TAPDB consists of a set of logically integrated, physically distributed data bases. SIDPERS is an external data base for processing personnel information updates to TAPDB. Mobilized units of the Active Army, ARNG, and USAR will have a common automated personnel data base.

USARPERCEN maintains the personnel data base for USAR soldiers. The NGB maintains the personnel data base for ARNG soldiers. The Human Resource Directorate maintains the civilian personnel data base.


The functional proponent for personnel information management is the Military Personnel Integration Division, The Adjutant General Directorate, PERSCOM. AR 600-8-104, Military Personnel Information Management/Records provides policy and procedural guidance for military personnel records information management. AR 600-8-23, SIDPERS Data Base Management, provides policy and procedural guidance for data base management.


The personnel information system consolidates electronic personnel records into command data bases at battalion and separate unit level. Consolidated command data bases are at brigade, division, corps, and theater level.


To support Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Field Systems Directorate, PERSCOM, developed/fielded software and hardware for postal, casualty, and awards systems and sent teams to the theater to provide TACCS training and assistance for Active and Reserve Component units. This support may be required for future operations until objective systems are fielded.


Personnel information changes submitted at the battalion and separate unit level update data bases at all echelons of command, ending with the TAPDB update. Command data bases produce personnel management information for use in the field. The TAPDB supports USTA PERSCOM information requirements.

Battalions and separate units must record all personnel changes involving gains, losses, and duty status changes in their command data bases. Any transactional update process must update all other data bases. The PSB and USTA PERSCOM record other personnel data changes, updating all data bases in the chain.


The following paragraphs describe SIDPERS 3.0 and its use.


SIDPERS 3.0 is the first step toward achieving the objective personnel information management system. It meets or partially meets many of the stated requirements. It must continue to evolve to fully implement the entire spectrum of objective requirements. The following are improvements being made with SIDPERS 3.0:

  • Allows all file servers within the personnel information management network to process transactions in a stand-alone mode. This eliminates main frame processing dependency and provides rapid deployability.
  • Provides users at all levels with distributive access to a relational data base. This enables personnel mangers to quickly respond to commanders' information demands.
  • Provides workers with automated processes to replace manual processes. This reduces manpower spent on manual efforts.
  • Provides a solid foundation for future wartime software development. This establishes a baseline for resolving many of the information management deficiencies.
  • Provides sufficient data elements to store the soldier's entire personnel record in an electronic form. This eliminates the paper personnel record.
  • Provides future means for managing deployed civilians. This enables the capture of information on deployed civilians in the military system used in theater. It also allows the information to flow via SIDPERS to interface with TAPDB and ACPERS.

The PERSINS (Personnel Information System) Processing Activity (PPA) is a function of the automation element of a PSB or MPD. It has the central role in executing SIDPERS 3.0. PPAs support consolidated data bases and are managed by the personnel automation element of the PSB or MPD of the installation. All units of the active force are serviced by a specific PPA.

The soldier's electronic record is located at multiple data bases (battalion S1, brigade S1, PSB, division G1, Pers Gp/Corps AG, theater PERSCOM, and USTA PERSCOM). The personnel systems detachment/section of the PSB or the personnel automation section (PAS) of the MPD at the locations maintains the field data base of record and is responsible for ensuring synchronization of these data bases. The personnel systems section(s) or the PAS executes the external interface requirements responsible for PPA processing. The PPA electronically communicates on a daily basis with the TAPDB managers and the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) to pass update transactions and receive downloads of top-fed transactions for the population it supports. The personnel systems detachment/section has the communication hardware and software in the Host Terminal Data Server to accomplish this function.


All echelons of command from units to HQDA must have access to information about soldier/deployed civilian and unit status within 24 hours of change. Personnel changes such as gains/losses and casualty status must rapidly pass through command channels and update each data base in the process to ensure that commanders have current information to support the decision-making process.


During split operations, the PSB or home station will provide continued personnel information support to the deployed forces. Therefore, the rear personnel automation element of the PSB personnel detachment (PD)/section or MPD PAS will perform a major role in sustaining base personnel information management for the deployed force. A forward-deployed PD or a forward area support team (FAST) will provide only essential services/functions in contingency operations. The forward element of the PAS will be responsible for synchronizing data bases in the theater of operations and for transmitting to and receiving updates from the PPA supporting the PSB rear. This PPA will also execute any additional data base synchronization required and all external interfaces (see Figure 5-1).


Electronic communication systems support data transmission at all levels from battalion and separate unit to TAPDB. The flow of this system is shown at Figure 5-2. Local area networks (LAN) link battalions to brigades in the brigade support area (BSA) and subordinate elements of the PSB to the division G1. Mobile subscriber equipment is used to transmit transactions within the chain of command to synchronize command data bases at all levels. The personnel network must have intertheater communication links to transmit transactions between the theater command data base and TAPDB.

The military personnel division and its tactical counterparts must have the automation and communication equipment to support decentralized processing. They must be able to simultaneously support tactical force deployment and the workload surge expected during mobilization.


The Army must build information interfaces between SIDPERS and other standard Army management information systems. Interfaces must also be planned for during the development of future information systems. Examples of these interfaces include the following systems and functions: Theater Army Medical Management Information System (TAMMIS), Combat Service Sup port Control System (CSSCS), Army Civilian Personnel System (ACPERS), Mass Fatality Field Information Management System (MFFIMS) and Tactical Army Field Feeding System (TAFFS).


Pending fielding of the modernized personnel information management system, some improvisation is necessary to overcome current system limitations.

SIDPERS exists in different versions for the Active Army, ARNG, and USAR. Unlike SIDPERS 3.0, the SIDPERS 2.75 environment transactions are funneled through the MPD/PSB PAS to the mainframe computer at the Army Information Processing Center for use in the TAPDB and down loaded back to the field.


A network of PPAs maintains the SIDPERS 2.75 data base. The PPAs provide the conduit for data base update and provide strength accounting and personnel management information to several operating levels. In the tactical force, data base extracts are available to the various operating levels (battalions, separate units, PSBs, and so forth) to use on their Tactical Army Combat Service Support Computer System (TACCS) hardware and provide interface with the PPA network.

Under normal peacetime conditions, a data exchange system synchronizes data between units and the PPA. Personnel data from units and the PSB feed the PPA data base. The PPA processes data base update cycles and furnishes updated data base copies to the units and the PSB. The personnel automation branch of the PSB manages the data flow between the units and the PPA.

Unit deployment will interrupt the regular data base update process. At that point, keeping the unit and PPA data bases synchronized is no longer practical.

Using SIDPERS 2.75, personnel information management becomes a two-dimensional effort after deployment.

One dimension of the personnel information management system must focus on collecting and transmitting personnel data to the PPA for processing and updating the official data base. The other dimension must focus on building and maintaining contingency data bases for echelons above division to support the critical personnel systems.

Once deployed, units record and electronically transmit key information changes to the PSB through SIDPERS on the day following the change or as soon thereafter as the battlefield situation permits. A courier may move transactions via data disk as a last resort. Information flows from the lowest SIDPERS data base at battalion/separate unit along data base lines, updating each successive data base (that is, battalion, brigade, division, PSB) through the CALL DEGEN procedure.

In the nondivision structure, data will flow from battalion/separate unit through the PSB to the corps, TAACOM, or theater PERSCOM electronic link for transmission to the supporting PPAs. The nondivisional PSB updates its data base through the CALL DEGEN procedure.

In the home station, the PPAs validate transactions by SIDPERS batch processing under SIDPERS 2.75, return the data via electronic data link to the originating PSB, and update the TAPDB. The PSB provides data base updates to supported units and PMCs and furnishes required maintenance reports.


Current SIDPERS depends on a mainframe host computer and a supporting technical staff for processing data base updates. It is not practical to establish such a capability within a new area of operations to support a limited contingency. Instead, PERSCOM must act in coordination with the deploying PMCs to establish electronic data transmission links between deployed units and their supporting PPAs.

The standard is an electronic link for each deployed division, corps nondivisional force, TAACOM, and theater. These links will update the official data base and provide organizational data base updates from the PPAs.

Within the area of operations, SIDPERS transactions will flow electronically from one TACCS to another through the division channel or the echelons above division channel. In the event electronic linkage is unavailable, units will pass transactions on data disks via courier.

Within divisions, SIDPERS transactions will flow from battalions/separate units, through brigades, to the PSB collocated with the division G1. At each level, personnel information managers will update their data bases through the CALL DEGEN procedure resident within the TACCS software. The PSB will transmit transactions to the PPA through the electronic data link and will receive and distribute data base updates from the PPA.

If the division data link is not available, the PSB will forward the transactions to the corps or theater PMC for transmission to the PPA serving the division.

Within nondivisional organizations, SIDPERS transactions will flow from the originator, through appropriate command and personnel channels, to the first point where they can enter the electronic data link.


Generally, a division's data base is resident within a single PPA. Thus, divisions must deploy with their data base on a number of TACCS machines or compatible computers. The division must keep at least one copy of its data base current through the CALL DEGEN procedure to serve as the contingency data base. The division must also provide a copy of the contingency data base to the corps PMC.

The data base challenges facing the echelons above division are more complex. Normally, the corps nondivisional force and the TAACOM for a contingency operation will receive support from a number of PPAs. Thus, it will be necessary for the personnel group to construct contingency data bases incrementally from the top of the system as the force deploys.

There are two SIDPERS information sources available for constructing contingency data bases. Each deploying battalion/separate unit will deploy with its authorized strength file (ASF) and TACCS personnel file (TPF) resident on a TACCS machine. The servicing PSB must collect copies of these files to use in building the contingency data base. PERSCOM can extract copies of each deploying unit's ASF and TPF from the PPAs and finish them to the deploying personnel groups and theater PERSCOM.

Data base quality within the deployed force will depend to a large degree on mobilization processing effectiveness. The mobilization stations must construct an ASF for each mobilizing Reserve Component unit and access the soldiers' records into the TPF. Additionally, mobilizing units must deploy with TACCS equipment or some compatible substitute.

The enhanced TACCS has the capacity to manage about 120,000 records in the reduced format. A smaller data base will give the corps or TAACOM access to critical information for personnel readiness and personnel accounting and strength reporting (PASR) management. The decision to reduce the data base for echelons above division rests with the corps/TAACOM AG.

Establishing a contingency data base will involve the following agencies:

  • USTA PERSCOM must establish procedures to incrementally extract copies of the SIDPERS data base (ASF and TPF) for newly assigned units from the respective PPAs and provide them to the lead personnel group or deployed PPA if established.
  • FORSCOM must inform USTA PERSCOM of actual deploying unit departure schedules.
  • The lead corps PMC must establish procedures to build contingency data bases for the echelons above division.
  • The contingency theater PERSCOM must establish a theater data base from the lead corps PMC upon arrival in theater.

The corps/TAACOM and the theater PMC must establish a schedule for replacing the old data base with an updated version.


During the early stages of deployment, personnel information managers must concentrate their initial efforts in two critical areas. They must establish electronic data links to the PPA to conduct split operations. (Under SIDPERS 2.75, they must also build contingency command data bases for use within the area of operations to support the military personnel systems at echelons above division.) And, they must have deployment files accurate and ready to go.


A number of agencies have critical responsibilities in managing the personnel information flow and maintenance. They have critical roles in establishing the personnel information management system for deployed units during contingency operations. The following paragraphs describe the systemic network and agency/unit responsibilities.


The personnel information network includes all personnel organizations in the force. They usually fall into two categories: managers and users.


The management group consists of reporting units and data base managers:

  • Battalions and separate units are responsible for basic personnel accounting. They record gains, losses, and other strength-related changes in their electronic data bases and forward transactions through their next higher command to the supporting PSB.
  • The PSB collects transactions from battalions and separate units, processes them into command data bases, and forwards them to USTA PERSCOM. The PSB also records miscellaneous personnel information in the command data base.


The user group includes personnel readiness, casualty, postal, and replacement managers. The personnel information data base is used by the following people:

  • Personnel readiness managers to assess unit readiness and support personnel allocation decisions.
  • Casualty managers for basic personnel information and casualty information verification.
  • Postal managers for postal locator information and to manage the casualty mail system.
  • Replacement managers to track replacement flow through the replacement system to the ultimate unit of assignment.

Figure 5-3 shows the agencies responsible for the functions and tasks of personnel information management. Figure 5-4 shows the agencies responsible for the functions and tasks of systems affected by personnel data base management.

The following paragraphs list the agencies and outline their responsibilities, including those requirements essential to covering the difference between the current and the objective systems.


Battalion S1 personnel information management responsibilities include the following critical tasks:

  • Using SIDPERS 2.75, if TACCS equipment is unavailable, obtain and use the interim software available from Field Systems Division, USTA PERSCOM.
  • Manage the personnel data base.
  • Transmit and receive critical electronic data transmissions to and from the brigade S1 and PSB on a real-time basis.
  • Under SIDPERS 2.75, submit SIDPERS transactions on a daily basis to the PSB and to the brigade (if applicable).
  • Back up electronic data files.
  • Plan for contingency operations.
  • Dispose of files in accordance with the governing regulation prior to deployment.
  • Forward critical documents pertaining to reclassifications, physical limitations, awards, and reassignments to the supporting PSB.
  • Maintain a record set of critical documents.


The brigade S1's personnel information management responsibilities include the following critical tasks:

  • Under SIDPERS 2.75, use the CALL DEGEN procedure to update the brigade TACCS machine before forwarding transactions through the G1 (rear) to the PSB.
  • Manage a command data base for the brigade.
  • Receive SIDPERS data from the battalions and the PSB, and transmit data to the battalions and PSB.
  • Duplicate critical data files.
  • Plan for computer contingency operations.
  • Dispose of unnecessary files before deployment.
  • Forward critical documents recording skill changes, physical limitations, promotions, awards, and reassignments to the PSB.
  • Maintain a record set of critical documents.


The division G1 has the responsibility for the following personnel information critical tasks:

  • Under SIDPERS 2.75, receive updates from PSB or brigades and separate battalions, and use the CALL DEGEN procedure to update the data base at least daily.
  • Synchronize the timely vertical flow of automated personnel information from the battalions and separate units to the PSB.


Responsibilities are the following:

  • In a division, act as the PPA or establish an electronic data link to the PPA. For split operations, ensure the PD or FAST establishes a data link with the PPA.
  • Under SIDPERS 2.75, use the CALL DEGEN procedure to update a PSB data base before sending transactions via electronic data link to the PPAs.
  • Manage and maintain the deployment packet for soldiers in theater.
  • Ensure teams are trained to transmit data to the PPA during split operations.
  • When designated by the senior personnel commander, synchronize the unit data base in an area of operation.


Responsibilities of the lead corps AG are the following:

  • In the absence of a theater PERSCOM, establish a personnel information network to ensure the timely SIDPERS transaction flow from unit level through the electronic data link to USTA PERSCOM.
  • Ensure that adequate data base management manpower deploys early to build and maintain a SIDPERS data base for the corps.
  • Provide technical guidance to the deploying units concerning data base maintenance.
  • Consolidate brigade, division, and corps nondivisional data base extracts to produce a corps data base.
  • Provide updated copies of the command data base to the nondivisional PSBs.
  • Provide a copy of the corps data base to the theater PERSCOM.

Additional responsibilities include the following critical tasks:

  • Manage the corps command personnel data base.
  • Manage the corps personnel information network.
  • Provide real-time information management products to the corps personnel readiness, replacement, postal, and casualty managers.
  • Plan for computer contingency operations.

Designate a PSB to be responsible for synchronizing the division/unit data bases where more than one PSB supports an area of operation.

  • Synchronize the flow of personnel change transactions through the chain of command from battalion to theater level on a real-time basis.
  • Maintain a derivative unit identification code (UIC) to account for in-patients at medical facilities.


Responsibilities are the following:

  • In the absence of a theater PERSCOM, establish a personnel information network to ensure the timely SIDPERS transaction flow from unit level through the electronic data link.
  • Consolidate data base extracts from units located in the communications zone to produce a TAACOM data base.
  • Furnish a copy of the TAACOM database to the theater PERSCOM.


The personnel services directorate performs personnel information management for the commanders, soldiers, and Army civilians. The initial focus of the theater PERSCOM is to do the following:

  • Establish, in coordination with the lead corps AG, an electronic data link for each division, corps PMC, and the theater PMC to the supporting PPAs.
  • Prepare to deploy a team of data base managers to assist in establishing the theater Army personnel information management network.
  • Plan to construct an abbreviated theater data base from corps/TAACOM data base extracts.
  • Provide an advance operations element trained, equipped, and prepared to establish the theater data base in cooperation with the lead corps AG.
  • Assume responsibility for the theater data base from the lead corps AG for a long-term, large-scale contingency operation.
  • Designate a PSB to be responsible for synchronizing the theater data base where more than one PSB supports an area of operation.

Once the theater personnel data base is established, theater PERSCOM responsibilities include the following critical tasks:

  • Manage the theater personnel data base.
  • Manage the theater personnel information network.
  • Provide real-time information products to the theater readiness, replacement, postal, and casualty managers.
  • Provide for electronic data transfer up and down the system.
  • Plan for computer contingency operations.
  • Coordinate for civilian management cell as outlined in Chapter 9.


Responsibilities are the following:

  • Identify PPAs for all active units.
  • Ensure that installation PPA(s) of the PSB and the MPD train and plan for the deployment of PDs or FASTs in support of projected forces.
  • Ensure that all units deploy to include mobilized reserve units with the hardware, software, and data bases to operate SIDPERS. Under SIDPERS 2.75, units must deploy with their TACCS machine or a compatible equivalent and a copy of their SIDPERS 2.75 data bases (to include the ASF and TPF).
  • Provide continued personnel information management support to the deployed force.
  • Control and maintain the MPRJ for the deployed force.


Coordinate with FORSCOM for PPA that will support reserve PSBs prior to activation.


The personnel information management system requires manpower in three critical areas: data collection, data bases, and the MPRJ.


The PSB is the PPA between the deploying units and the personnel information managers at division and higher levels. The PSB commander must allocate manpower to accomplish this mission at the home station and at the deployed location.

The personnel group commander must deploy a personnel information management team from each PSB to establish and maintain the information flow between the units and higher echelons in the system. These teams should deploy with the appropriate PMCs to facilitate aligning PSBs with their supported units.


The current tables of organization and equipment (TOE) for the personnel group and the theater PERSCOM do not recognize the manpower requirements associated with building and maintaining SIDPERS 2.75 data bases at the corps, TAACOM, and theater during a contingency operation. Commanders must prepare to divert manpower to support this vital mission.

Data base management personnel must have high priority in the deployment process to construct the SIDPERS 2.75 data bases quickly and maintain data accuracy.


Maintaining information in the MPRJ and the automated personnel records requires considerable manpower from PSB resources. During a contingency operation, most of this work will take place at the home station. Accordingly, the personnel group commander must designate part of the PSB to remain and support the deployed force from the parent installation.

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