An ALL-IN, happy 248th birthday to our great Adjutant General’s Corps! We have been around since before the birth of our Nation and our Corps has always been at the forefront of readiness to meet the needs of our Army. As our own Adjutant General’s Corps March proclaims, “When Congress called for arms in Seventy-Five, the AG Corps was the first by Washington’s side.” Nearly two and a half centuries later, our AG Soldiers are still supporting their Commanders and are often found right by their side, providing expertise and wise counsel to help them make informed decisions. Adjutants have a special relationship with Commanders. As we look to the future, Large Scale Combat Operations (LSCO) remain at the forefront of our operational mindset. We must continue to prepare technically with our modernized HR system - IPPS-A and develop HR capabilities to operate in potentially austere conditions with rigorous, realistic training. We will evaluate and review our doctrine, organization, training, and leadership capabilities through collaborative discussions, roundtables, and forums.
To that point, let me take a moment to highlight the absolute success of our recent AG Week held at Fort Jackson. I can say before the formal AAR process is complete... the efforts to drive our AG Corps strategy by our senior leaders, the input from those in person and virtually, and the strong representation by all aspects of our AG family including the National Guard, Reserve component, and our DA civilians, were three of the largest highlights. Additionally, I am excited to share that the addition of the in-person competitions for the AG “Of the Year” program was a success. I commend our Regimental Command Sergeant Major, CSM Tamika DeVeaux, for her vision and her strong team of professionals who executed that vision to a high-quality standard. Those events do not happen without exceptional planning and detailed commitment of a group of people and so, to everyone who helped make that portion of the week a success, thank you. I also want to congratulate the participants and the winners of the inaugural competition. The winners are the best of the best of our Corps, and if history holds true, many will be future senior leaders in a variety of positions of influence. With these great Soldiers, Civilians, and Family members, our future is in great hands for years to come.
AG week was highlighted by the induction of six esteemed leaders of our Corps to our Hall of Fame and recognition of the 2023 Distinguished Members of the Corps. I commend each one of them for their dedicated lifetime of service on behalf of the entire Adjutant General community. As we build connections to improve our knowledge and understanding of our HR profession, it is important we take time to recognize the contributions of these leaders. If you missed the culmination of the week, it was our historic AG National Ball. Again, many thanks to the sponsors, committee members, and attendees who made it a success, especially the 282nd Army Band who provided entertainment and an amazing rendition of our national anthem sung by SPC Alexus Monroe. Social media was abuzz and images were viewed by thousands posted by those who enthusiastically “liked” and shared pictures and moments from the event. A special thank you to COL (Ret) Robert L. Manning, President of the Adjutant General’s Corps Regimental Association for hosting, and the great remarks by LTG Douglas Stitt, the Army G1, our guest speaker. These leaders were truly “All-In” for the week and this event.
While the ball and AG week were fun and festive, the work of our AG professionals continues. The Army delivers capabilities to the field and the Adjutant General School meets the training demands to prepare our Soldiers. In the latest iteration, the IPPS-A program team released a subcategory for the completion of a modified HR Professional (HR Pro Lite) distance learning module series. This targeted training is designed to expedite the basic learning for CMF42 Advanced Individual Training (AIT) students in IPPS-A functionality and allows for validation and elevated access for those Soldiers that complete it in those areas most often and likely used at the battalion and brigade level. This change is significant as it focuses the Soldier on the most critical training first in the institutional training environment, so they are ready to perform those tasks in their unit on day one and prevent any delays to have the proper permissions to do certain elevated tasks in the system.
On the technical training front, the AG School also piloted an updated version of the IPPS-A Administrator Course and is refining and adjusting the program of instruction to meet the needs of this elevated technical training. Seats are currently available in ATRRS starting in July 2023. This Functional Course was designed to complement Professional Military Education (PME) instruction on IPPS-A by specifically targeting an identified training gap for individuals serving as, or about to serve in positions as System Validators at Echelons Above Brigade (EOB). The target audience is HR Professionals serving as Validators, or Validator Administrators at the Installation, Generating Force, or in an operational brigade level and above (individuals serving in an equivalent role to the former records Manager or PAS Chief). Open to all three COMPOs, the strategic training goal is to create IPPS-A structural systems engineers to support unit administrative operations. There are 13 start dates for this course at Fort Jackson between October 2023 and September 2024 with a maximum total of 384 seats available. I encourage you to review ATRRS for the full course description and additional information published on this course.
Did you know that the Adjutant General School runs a credentialing program for our AG Soldiers? Qualified CMF 42 Soldiers from all components may apply for this opportunity to participate in the credentialing program. The program includes the Associate Professional in Human Resources (aPHR), Professional in Human Resources (PHR), and Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) through Distinctive Human Resources (DHR) preparatory course and Human Resources Credentialing Institute (HRCI) exam. We also offer the Project Management Professional (PMP) and Certified Associate Project Management (CAPM) credentials through Project Management Institute (PMI). To learn more and see if you qualify, please join the Army365 Microsoft Team using team code: kel0mp7. Once you're a member of the team, you will see team channels to explore each opportunity. The AG School will begin accepting applications again in mid-October 2023, so keep a look out for S1NET, AGCRA, MS Teams Site, and the AG School Facebook page for more information. For applicants who do not have an Army365 account (i.e., your email doesn’t end with @army.mil), please email the AGS HR Credentialing Team at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance. Until then, please take a look at the Army Credentialing Opportunities Online (COOL) website at Army COOL Home (osd.mil) for great certification and apprenticeship opportunities that will help you now and in your future endeavors, which you can apply for right now.
Lastly, we must say a fond farewell upcoming to our 8th Chief Warrant Officer of the Corps, CW5 Mark Hickman as he approaches retirement with over 30 years of service to our Nation. The Change of Responsibility ceremony will be held at Fort Jackson on 13 July 2023 immediately followed by his retirement ceremony. We invite you to attend and send your well wishes to him for all his contributions. Chief Hickman exemplifies all that we aspire to be as AG Soldiers; technically and tactically proficient, a positive leader, and an inspiration to others. On behalf of Chief, CSM DeVeaux, and our AG School Team, I am profoundly grateful to serve as your Chief of the Corps and wish you a great summer and 4th of July celebration.
Defend and Serve!
COL Chesley D. Thigpen, Jr.
Commandant, Adjutant General School
Chief of the Corps