The following was originally written by me on October 12, 2014. It’s posted on another blog site of mine that I no longer contribute to. Thought it would be worth passing along. Enjoy!!
After 22 years, and still going, in the Army I’ve learned a LOT about the Army Record Keeping System. Maintain your own!!! I am in the middle of updating my ERB and it’s a serious pain in the rear. Here’s my advice to all the young Joes out there.
- Create an “I Love Me” book to store all your certificates, DD214s, 1059s, promotion orders, profiles, etc.
- In your file cabinet…store all your LES’s you get in the mail. I keep my most important docs in my safe. Cause if they ever burn, that’s it.
- Don’t turn off “Hard Copy” of your LES. Keep every single one.
- Keep every single (D)ARP 249/NGB23 for your retirement points. You may not understand all that crap now but when it’s time to retire it’ll become VERY important. I am missing 3 years for some reason and am having a heck of a time trying to get them back.
- Frame and hang all your award certificates. It’ll preserve them plus remind you how squared away you once were.
- Log into iPerms often and keep track of what’s in there. Make sure every single document of importance you receive gets “Perm’d”.
- Keep track of “Service Ribbons” or “Automatic” ribbons you are authorized. No one will put you in for them automatically. It’s gonna be YOUR responsibility.
- Always double check your LES. Make sure your PEBD date is always the same. Mine has changed on me 4 times this year. I don’t know why.
Here are a few other pieces of advice.
- Keep your ASUs up to date. However, I prefer to buy a brand new rack with all my ribbons prior to attending any board or DA Photo.
- Use “Sta-Brite” on your ASUs. It’ll look like you care about how you look. Your ASU is the storybook of your military career.
- Always keep a few service uniforms even after they’ve been phased out. I still have plenty sets of BDUs. Keep one looking nice and folded nicely or hung up. I also have a pair of Choco Chip DCU from Kuwait back in the 90’s and DCU from Iraq in ’03. I keep them in plastic. I even have a couple old BDU Patrol Caps. Your grandkids will thank you for it. Old desert/deployment floppy hats look cool on float trips too. I’ve got at least 6 pairs of black leather boots (jungles and green jungles, Corcorans, LPCs from Basic).
Feel free to forward this along and add to it what you feel may be of importance.