Changes, Confusion a "Virtual" Certainty
By Lt.Col. Randy Parlett, 139th Airlift Wing
/ Published January 13, 2009
11 January 2009 -- A website that has changed the way personnel records are available has performed as promised. But more changes scheduled for this summer could cause confusion.
Guard members can log onto the virtual Military Personnel (vMPF) site via the Air Force Portal anytime from anywhere. The site allows changes in status, such as marriage, divorce, children, and so on to be uploaded. "Within the last couple of years each guard unit lost a fulltime person so the Air Reserve Personnel Center (ARPC) located in Denver, CO could be staffed," explained MSgt. Jill Berg, 139th Personnel Systems Manager. "The Personnel Service Delivery Transformation puts the customer in control creating a self-service, 24/7 one-stop shop for guard and reserve members to go online and see everything that's happening."
But the new system has a big flaw. No records are shown for guard and reserve members prior to 1995. That means anyone who joined the guard more than 14 years ago needs to check their DD 214 to see that deployments and mobilizations are correctly shown. "July 15th is the date when our personnel folders we will go to all electronic records," said Berg. "All hard files currently kept in the MPF will be sent off base to be scanned into an electronic file. They will not be issued to guard members and the hard copies will not be returning to Rosecrans."
Personnel officials are advising 139th members to check the vMPF website to see if records after 1995 are accurate. For those who joined before 1995, a sit-down records review in the administration building is recommended.
"It has to be done between now and July," said Berg. "We realize that could mean over a thousand people are involved. There are many people who didn't keep their records. If there are any questions or doubts, they need to make an appointment with us and we'll do a complete records review between now and July. We can reconstruct from orders, travel vouchers and DD 214s. It's all we can do here and it's critical."
Besides all hard copies of personnel records being shipped in July, a merger of finance and personnel records may pose another problem. The Defense Integrated Military Human Resource System, or DIMHRS, is scheduled for an October 2009 launch. "The army is going to it now- they're the guinea pigs," added Berg. "We're doing internal audits right now and we're finding several instances where what the personnel records and the finance records show aren't matching."
The internal audits are paying off. 139th Military Personnel Flight members have found 238 cases of mismatched data between finance and personnel. The mismatches stem from Serviceman's Group Life Insurance or SGLI amounts. "The main thing here is to check for problems- log onto the Air Force Portal site with your card, check the personnel site for accuracy and then come see us," said Berg. "If you've volunteered for an AEF rotation, completed it, and it's not shown in your records, then we could see you as deployable again even though you just got home."
Your units Command Support Staff personnel are available to help. Berg says each unit has a person designated who has been trained in finding the personnel website.